Friday, July 30, 2010

TARTA wants money - still

I guess you could say it's official, now that the news has been published in our local daily newspaper, but it's something we all knew was coming: TARTA still wants more money and will put a 1-mill, 10-year renewal levy on the ballot.

A renewal means they will continue to collect the same amount as the one that is expiring and usually, that's a good thing as opposed to a replacement. A replacement levy is the same millage but charged against the current property values. However, with our recent property evaluations, many saw the value of their property decline so TARTA is probably better off financially to go with the renewal.

If passed, it will generate $7 million for TARTA. This is in addition to the 1.5-mill levy replaced three years ago that generates $10 million for the agency.

In 2009, income from fares accounted for less than 10% of TARTA's revenue. Roughly 11% of their income came from school contracts for student transportation. This year, because of financial difficulties at Toledo Public Schools, they are cutting back on their TARTA contract.

The other $24.5 million of their 2009 revenue came from tax dollars through levies, the state or the federal government.

And in 2009, their unaudited balance sheet showed they lost roughly half a million dollars.

And now they want us to continue funding them, despite the fact that most all of us have seen our incomes decline, our property values decline and our costs in almost every other area go up.

But to give you an idea of the mindset, here is what TARTA general manager James Gee had to say to the paper:

"Voters historically have understood the need for public transportation and have supported public transit at the ballot box," he said. "Economic times are tough, and we're cognizant that everyone is struggling in the community. With a renewal, there will be no [new] hit on the taxpayer."

Sadly, he's probably right.

But we can be grateful for small things - at least it's not an increase or a sales tax which would have stronger negative repercussions than a simple renewal of an outrageous tax we're already paying.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Government's dietary guidelines vs. science

I came across this summary of several articles on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) dietary guidelines and wanted to share it, as it calls into question the one-size-fits-all recommendations as well as political issues versus actual health issues.

It's from the National Center for Policy Analysis:

It seems that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which revise dietary guidelines for Americans every five years, are even more reluctant to admit to a mistake than your average guy. Indeed, there's increasing scientific evidence that past and current federal dietary recommendations are often wrong, says Steven Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and senior editor of "City Journal."

For instance:

* In the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers analyzed the daily food intake of 350,000 people and found no link between the amount of saturated fat ingested and the risk of heart disease, even though Americans have been told since 1980 to supplant saturated fats with carbohydrates.

* The diet-to-heart connection just isn't holding up; by recommending an increase in carbohydrates over fat, the government has actually contributed to the obesity epidemic, points out the American Council on Science and Health's (ACSH) Dr. Elizabeth Whelan.

In its new recommendations, the FDA advises Americans to reduce daily sodium intake to a maximum of 1,500 milligrams. "This guideline is not consistent with good health for the majority of Americans, not to mention impossible to comply with, and is likely to do more harm than good," says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross.

"In the 1970s, the dogma was not to eat more than one visible egg per day, but now we know eggs are very nutritious and one of the least dangerous foods one can eat. The FDA is just wrong, and their recommendations reflect popular wisdom more than science," says Dr. Whelan. "They're just not willing to make modifications even when science shows the truth."

Source: "Inaccurate Dietary Guidelines," American Council on Science and Health, July 20, 2010; and Steven Malanga, "U.S. dietary guidelines hard to swallow," Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2010.

For text:

For Los Angeles Times text:,0,2205200.story

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cato: Abolish state income tax

From Richard W. Rahn, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth. I wish Ohio legislators would read this!

Did you know there are nine states that have no state income tax? The non-income-tax states (see accompanying chart) are geographically and economically diverse, ranging from the state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest, to Texas and Florida in the South, and up to New Hampshire in the Northeast.

Why is it that some of the states with the biggest fiscal problems have the highest individual state income tax rates, such as New York and California, while some of the states with the least fiscal problems have no state income tax at all? High-tax advocates will argue that the high-tax states provide much more and better state services, but the empirical evidence does not support the assertion.

read more....

Quotes of the Day

A decision every person must make:

"How bad do things have to get before you do something? Do they have to take away all your property? Do they have to license every activity that you want to engage in? Do they have to start throwing you on cattle cars before you say “now wait a minute, I don’t think this is a good idea.” How long is it going to be before you finally resist and say “No, I will not comply. Period!” Ask yourself now because sooner or later you are going to come to that line, and when they cross it, you’re going to say well now cross this line; ok now cross that line; ok now cross this line. Pretty soon you’re in a corner. Sooner or later you’ve got to stand your ground whether anybody else does or not. That is what liberty is all about." ~ Michael Badnarik

Important points to remember about what our founders intended in terms of the separation of power and checks and balances:

"This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them." ~ Alexander Hamilton

And in light of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in January, when EVERY income tax bracket will see an increase in the amount of money they are forced to pay to the federal government:

"One of the most insidious consequences of the present burden of personal income tax is that it strips many middle class families of financial reserves & seems to lend support to campaigns for socialized medicine, socialized housing, socialized food, socialized every thing. The personal income tax has made the individual vastly more dependent on the State & more avid for state hand-outs. It has shifted the balance in America from an individual-centered to a State-centered economic & social system." ~ W. H. Chamberlin

Saturday, July 24, 2010

AFP Right On Line #7

Continuing speakers from the general session:

Sharon Angle, Candidate for U.S. Senate in Nevada (running against Harry Reid):

* I'm running for the people's seat from Nevada in the Senate. I was told the fate of the nation rests on me - but it really rests on you.
* We have a calling - a purpose: to pass on the American dream to our children and our grandchildren - not deficits and debt.
* Harry Reid says he needs $25 million - I say I need 1 million people with $25 each...
* We need a one nation under God - not one nation under government.
* We can do better and our country deserves 'better.' Reid says he is 'doing more.' We have 14.2% unemployment, the highest home foreclosure rate in the nation, the highest bankruptcy rate in Nevada. We need Harry Reid to stop 'doing more.'
* If we want more tax revenue, reduce the tax rates, so I signed the pledge to permanently repeal the death tax.
* "We the people' are the solution. We know what it takes to put the country back on the right path.
* Pay Back on the deficits and debt, and the Social Security fund.
* Cut Back on spending: the federal government has only enumerated powers and everything else is for the states, so we can cut departments and agencies that would be best at the state level - like the dept. of education that forces down one-size-fits-all policies that fail; shrink the size of the federal government.
* Every state needs at least one sheriff like Joe Arpaio (Maricopa County)
* Take Back our economy and our lives from the government. Talk about what real restructuring looks like: audit the fed, liquidate Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac (phony mae and fraudy mack).
* We have the right contract with America: our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
* We have the right 'Angle' to defeat Harry Reid.

November is Coming ad with photos of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama to the tune of the theme from Jaws...

AFP Right On Line #6

Continuing with general session speakers...

Phil Kerpen, AFP Vice President Policy:

* Van Jones is speaking across the way - after being fired, he was embraced by the left...he is teaching a course at Princeton, got an award from the NAACP.
* If this man says 'green jobs' will destroy the capitalist system and he's so embraced by the Democrats, should we think the Democrats want to destroy our capitalist economy?
* Does anyone believe Harry Reid when he says 'cap and tax' is out of the energy bill? We don't either.
* Lame-duck threat is bigger than just the energy bill, a value added tax, other tax increase, a 'labor reform bill' with card check, an immigration bill with amnesty...everything with their extreme left-wing agenda that they cannot get passed now will be on the list after November.
* No Republican Senator should vote for any policy change in a lame-duck session. Do not help the Democrats in a lame-duck session.
* They should not help disregard the wishes of the people.
* We need to get every member of the House to commit now to not making policy changes in any lame-duck session.
* Have more bad news: Obama administration is using executive power in ways it's never been used before and avoiding Congress to advance his leftist ideas.
* The EPA wants to apply the Clean Air Act to regulating everything - they have 18,000 pages of ways they think they can regulate global warming under the guise of 'clean air.'
* All Republicans but only six Democrats voted to restrict the EPA's power, needed 51 votes, in June.
* Heard last night how the FCC wants to regulate the Internet - Congress must step in and prevent them from doing this. A bureaucracy should not get away with these things.
* Even the National Labor Relations Board is in the mix. Craig Becker's nomination to the NLRB was rejected, bi-partisan vote, but he was appointed in a recess by Obama and now he is promoting card check as a regulation rather than as a vote by Congress.
* We finally repealed the moratorium on off-shore drilling in 2008...and now Obama has a new moratorium on the only place we had left to drill.
* We need Congress to stand up for itself and stop the Executive Branch from imposing laws that they cannot get through our elected representatives.

Kirby Wilbur, radio host:

* Tail winds of freedom are reaching the left coast.
* We are at a crossroads in American history and we will decide on November 2 which way to go.
* If we do not win in November, the left and the Obama Administration will feel vindicated by our failure and will move us any further the wrong way.
* Unlike the left, I believe American is an exceptional country - there is no where else to go where we can be free.
* No other country was founded on such ideals...and they are at stake on November 2nd.
* It is our responsibility to ensure the fires of freedom still burn.
* We've defeated the enemies of freedom in the past and we can do so again if we rise up and meet our responsibilities.
* We have lives and we want to be left alone. The left wants to run our lives for us. We must not just try, we must do, as Churchill said. And we must do on November 2nd.
* The rest of the world has somewhere to run to for freedom...we don't.
* On November 3rd, we're going to wake up and hear either we won or Obama won. Please consider what earlier generations have done for us and what we must do today, so that when you wake up on November 3rd, you hear the 'right' thing.
* Guarantee America for your children.

Herman Cain, radio show host and Fox News contributor:

* Intro had a tape of saying "We made our money the old fashioned way. We worked for it."
* Intro also gave his history as owner of Godfather's Pizza and other entrepreneurial efforts.
* It was Dr. Mayes (sp?) who was president of Morehouse College who said the tragedy of life is not in failing to reach your goals, but of failing to have goals...calamity not to have dreams.
* I have a dream... that in November of 2010, we're going to change the House of Politicians back to the House of Representatives the way it's supposed to be.
* I have a dream... that when the spending revolt is over, spending will never be the same again in DC.
* I have a dream that we are going to return to those principles that our founders envisioned for the greatest nation the world has ever seen.
* Those principles created the greatest country in the world and some of us want to keep it that way.
* Three challenges ...
* One, we must stay united in our goal of freedom and prosperity. The people in DC don't have a clue and that's a good thing.
* Liberals are so desperate because the fact is that the stimulus bill isn't working so they keep changing the subject so people don't know what's going on.
* They are desperate to keep a grip around the neck to keep they've resorted to name calling - saying we're racists (Cain is a black man). The good news is that it is backfiring.
* Two, we must stay informed ... because stupid people are ruining this country.
* When 50% of the people can be persuaded by a slick speech or ad, we must have the knowledge... the numbers are on our side, but we must get our fellow conservatives off the couch because November is coming.
* Three, stay inspired. They want us to believe we cannot do this...that we must 'save' our image.
* In 1996, I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I was told about a 30% chance of being alive five years from now, so I asked, what do I have to do to solve this problem? Three weeks ago I go my latest results and CAT scan and after four years I have been totally cancer free.
* I tell you this because that was God telling me, "not yet because I've got something for you do." I've got to help take back our country and our government in 2010.
* Another story that inspires me is that I've often been put in positions where people tell me it can't be done. I learned in college that the bumble bee is not supposed to be able to fly, based upon aerodynamics. But we know it can be done because we see it. But mathematicians try to prove it, so they run tests, etc... and the computer tells them 'the sucker can't fly.' So they do more testing and put the results in a bigger, faster computer and the bigger, faster computer comes back and says, 'the sucker still can't fly.'
* The only reason the bumble bee flies is because it didn't get the memo telling him he can't. He believes he can and he does.
* I have a dream that we can take our country back, we must take our country back and we will do this.
* While do I believe we can make this happen? Because we've got bumble bee power.
* I have a dream for 2010 and I BELIEVE we are going to take back our government. (standing ovation)

AFP Right On Line #5

Continuing with the general session speakers:

Guy Benson, Political Editor for

* My first trip to Las Vegas, home state of Harry Reid, who is so popular that his own son, running for governor, is omitting his last name.
* We want to re-focus the public's attention on the health care bill. We've isolated eight of the central promises made when promoting the bill: not a tax, will reduce spending, you can keep your plan, etc... And we demonstrate that each and every one is either a ludicrous promise or an outright lie.
* We have a law that the public does not want, will not do what defenders said it would and will bankrupt the country.
* It is built on lies and needs to be repealed.
* Essential step is to make the change at the ballot box and then hold Republicans responsible to their re-discovery of the limited government principles they are supposed to support.
* There are a couple of Republicans in Congress who could use some friendly adult supervision - and our task is to provide that to them after the coming Republican 'revolution' in the fall.

Roger Hedgecock, grassroots leader and radio host:

* Reporter asked me why we don't have Netroots speakers here and send our speakers there? No one wants to listen to their 'talk show hosts' anyway.
* I'm through talking and ready to act. I'm taking my talk show host to Arizona to stand up for Arizona. (lots of applause)
* I asked the host hotel is they were ready. They said yes.
* Last week the President, in filings in the case, said the federal government has the right to not enforce certain immigration laws. Thought that was part of the oath to uphold the law??? Time to stand up - we are all Arizonans.
* As Americans, we could not have a service greater to our country than defeating Harry Reid in November.
* When President went to Missouri to campaign, I responded by having Roy Blunt on my show and did something I've never done before: I asked people that if they liked what they heard to donate, go work in Missouri for the candidate, get involved.
* We have to do this in every district and every Senate seat.
* We're going on the road...because we're going to defeat the Obama machine in Illinois, send Russ Feingold back to the private sector, elect Rubio in Florida.
* We don't just reject them telling us that they know better how to spend our money than we do, we reject that they know better how to spend money not yet earned by our children better than our children do.
* We have to retire them one by one.
* We are the ones to do it. Today we're going to put Harry Reid's voting record on every door in Henderson, NV. We're going to tell them truth - and it will set us all free.

Dr. Joe Heck, candidate for Congress (NV-3) - his race was moved from toss-up to leans Republican:

* For the first time, we run the risk of leaving to our children a nation that is not better than what we have.
* I refuse to jeopardize our children's future with run-away spending.
* Patriots across America are afraid of what the future holds, they worry about the agenda coming from this government that forces government control of and intrusion into our lives.
* We need leaders who know what it means to sign the front of the check - not just the back of a check.
* We also need more elected leaders who have worn the uniform of our country.
* We need leaders who know that the people's interest needs to be represented - not the interest of groups like unions, environmentalists or trial lawyers.
* These liberal interests and policies are unacceptable and must be stopped.
* My opponent followed like a lemming the failing policies of Nancy Pelosi and is motivating her liberal liars in the race. She is Pelosi's puppet and if we are going to retire Nancy Pelosi, we need to retire her.
* It is races like mine that will help take back our country.
* This year, more than ever, you must understand the weight of your words and your ability to control the on-line debate and ensure that the conservative message survives the onslaught of liberal spending.

Erick Erickson,

* We're coming and we're going to take over and we're going to recover our nation.
* When we 'set the clock back,' we're going back before George W. Bush, too. We need to stop looking at the letter behind someone's name. We have to hold our side accountable, too.
* Brooms - sweep them out of office.
* Churchill quote: if you will not fight when you can win, you will have to fight when the odds may be against you for if you do not fight, you will be slaves (paraphrased).
* Some of us are going to get ahead, some of aren't, but government should not hold us back just because others cannot. Politicians want to punish those who get ahead, but we cannot let that happen.
* These issues are not 'tea party' issues, they are American issues. Put down the protest signs and pick up the campaign signs. It's time to hit the doors, get out the vote. It's time to beat the Democrats. It's time to beat the Republicans.
* In DC, there are two parties: Democrats and Democrat-lite.
* I want more people on the 'right' but all the talking heads in DC want to talk about is 'finding common ground.' I don't want to stand next to them, I want to beat them.
* There is no common ground: they want to destroy us, we want to build up the country.
* Writing a book and one chapter is about Pres. Obama's fight with everything except the enemy.
* I love this country and if we want to preserve our freedoms, we have to win and they have to fail. Rush is right: America wins when Democrats lose.
* told story ... In 1862, we were the envy of the world - in America, unlike anywhere else in the world, every man can make himself. But not for long, and this is a reality we must face.
* Discern who the real friends and enemies are, but in all cases, stand on the side of freedom and fight like hell in November.

Curtis Sliwa, radio host:
* I may not please people with what I say, but I'm not a politician.
* I'm not loyal to a party or a religion, but I am loyal to my country and will support my country because I don't need the government to take care of me because I can so myself.
* We need to support our 'real' community organizers so Republicans and Democrats have an ex-lax attack when they see thousands outside their offices.
* When government interferes, we, the taxpayers, suffer.
(I cannot type as fast as Sliwa talks with his rhetoric and alliteration...)
* We need to treat all crime the same - if you commit the crime, you do the time. Do not protect them and take their campaign contributions - banks 'too big to fail' or financial institutions you've bailed out.
* We want government out of lives, we have huge debt, but I'm a free agent and I must get out and do the things that we've previously turned over to government.
* Government tells us we cannot survive without them - we must prove them wrong.
* New York City went to federal government and asked the president to bail them out and the president said, 'drop dead.'
* I'm a New Yorker and we wanted to bailed out by the taxpayers in Nebraska and Iowa??? But we were told no and we had to get our house in order. We had to adopt fiscal restraint.
* The result was lawlessness and I organized young men and women and formed the Guardian Angels. We haven't taken one dime or penny of taxpayer dollars!
* The politicians in DC have been on the ropes before - don't let them off the ropes this time around.
* If we are to rein in government, we must step forward and volunteer. We can make a difference - we can change the world and change the future of America. Our land needs fighters who are not quitters. The principles must perservere and if we are to win, we must take back the work we have outsourced to government.
* I want my country back - I'm going to take it back.

AFP Right On Line #4


Tim Phillips, President of AFP:

* We are going to hold all politicians who voted for health care accountable for the promises made it. We going to push for the repeal of the health care bill and we're going to demand a vote on defunding this monstrosity.

* The politicians have ignored the will of the American people...the politicians had their say and this November, we'll have our say.

* Quoting Ghandi: first they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you, then you win. This is exactly what has happened. They ignored the first tea parties. Then they ridiculed saying you were astroturfs, front groups, etc., but the movement continued to grow. Now they're attacking you, calling you racists and other things. But in November, we will win.

* We're going to win because of our values of freedom and economic prosperity and the belief in the Constitution. We are exceptional as we are Americans and we cannot lose that. We will take our country back.

* What is it that you want from government? Most people answer that question with 'nothing - we just want to be left alone to enjoy the freedoms we were given by our Creator and enshrined in our Constitution.'

* If we want to be left alone to enjoy our freedoms, we have to get involved to fight to preserve those freedoms - every day.

Ed Morrissey,

* I am not what I seem. I am not a man of taste and sophistication. I have a deep, dark secret: I love disco. I have a nostalgic love of the music of the 1970's, but that's not what's coming's the failed economic policies that is making a comeback.
* Pres. Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid believe the interventionist policies and confiscatory taxation will work this time around.
* They've passed a financial regulatory bill that will 'fix' everything except what caused the problem in the first place. I call this 'the hustle.'
* With the health care bill, they've made huge promises, but the impact on us will be 'stayin' alive.'
* With unemployment it's the same thing. After spending billions in a stimulus plan - borrowed money at that - unemployment has risen, not lowered.
* Exploding deficits - Pelosi and Reid made over-spending Republicans from a few years back look like Ebeneezer Scrooge.
* National debt is at 93% of GDP - 'grease is the word.'
* But the failures of the '70s resulted in the Reagan Revolution, resulting in the greatest expansion of wealth in our nation's history - and we can do it again, too.
* We have a duty to our country to act when it goes off track - to make our politicians listen and fight for our free-market principles and private property rights.

John Fund, Wall Street Journal:

* I'm speaking here, but will reporting on the Netroots meeting. Pelosi will be speaking there today, but she is an 'honest liberal.' She told us that if we wanted to know what was in the health care bill, we had to pass it...
* At Netroots Nation, they are depressed and sullen. You could walk through their deepest optimism and not get your ankles wet. Why? Because they were told over and over again that once the health care bill was passed, people would accept the law. How's that working out for you?
* Polls says Obama's re-election ranking is at 14% and 55% of people (30% of Democrats) believe 'socialist' describes him. Even his own party describes him as a 'big spender' and 'growing government too big.'
* ? says the polls show this country is at a pre-revolution stage. The American people have decided to take things into their own hands. Politics is too important to be left to the politicians.
* Through the power of the new media, you have been able to organize and bring yourselves together in this goal. You have so much power, you have scared your adversaries and they are lashing out (racism charge).
* I have evidence as to why in the world this charge was hurled at the tea party supporters. quote from author: "tainting the tea party with the charge of racism has proved to be an effective strategy...there is no evidence ... having your opponents rebut charges of racism is better than discussing joblessness." That's honesty.
* You're going to have a big victory in November, but remember that the 'beltway party' (both parties) is already plotting to thwart you.
* Did you know Congress is still exempt from the Civil Rights Act? That there are three parties in Congress: Republicans, Democrats and the Appropriations Committee?
* We need no lame-duck session - no excuse for such members of Congress to make decisions when they've just been told by the nation that we want to go in a completely different direction.
* Liberals only get elected when they convince the American people that they will govern as moderates. That's what happened with Jimmy Carter. And as we've seen historically, when they run as moderates, but then govern from the left, the American rise up to beat back liberalism.

AFP Right On Line #3

Today is the general session for RightOnLine so I'll have a series of blog posts on the various speakers. Again, these are my rough notes taken during their speeches and is not verbatim. As my fellow bloggers here say, thank goodness I can type fast.

VP of the parent company of the Venetian Hotel and Resort, where we are staying (I did not get his name):

* Venetian is the largest building in the world. He says that after Pres. Obama made his negative comments about Las Vegas, they had over 26,000 room cancellations resulting in millions of lost revenue from both the rooms and food & beverage sales.

Judge Andrew Napolitano:

* Starts with several humorous stories from his time on the bench
* Talking about Thomas Moore in his trial, who was beheaded for refusing to admit the king is the head of the church on earth. He argued for a natural law and the fundamental belief that we are free individuals.
* This led to the statement that 'all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator,' not their government.
* He had a debate with a person the other day who said that these statements were just Jefferson's 'musings.'
* When the government fails to protect human freedom it is the duty of the people to alter or abolish it.
* These are not Jefferson's musings, these are written by the natural law in every person's heart.
* British soldiers used to be able to write their own search warrants to look for the king's 'stamps' on all your private papers...this was actually rescinded prior to our Revolution but it was too late and we won the Revolution and wrote the Constitution to ensure we'd never again be subject to the tyranny we'd just rejected.
* Our freedom comes from our humanity - it is as natural to use as our physical bodies are. Our tendency to be free are hard-wired into us by our Creator.
* This is the natural law argument that won the argument during the writing of our Constitution.
* The Bill of Rights - our right to defend those freedoms, even from the government when it is taken over by tyrants, even the right to be left alone are guaranteed to us in this document.
* Everyone knows 'Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech' so how is it that shortly thereafter we had a law making it a crime to criticize the government (alien & sedition act)? Then one congressman referred to Pres. Adams as 'his rotundancy' and was then convicted and sent to prison under the act. But he ran for re-election from prison and won.
* So how could the same people who wrote the Constitution with the free speech provision then violate it so? The 'lust to dominate' - the urge people in government have to tell others how to live their lives.
* If a candidate or elected official wants to tell you how to live your life, VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE.
* Lincoln locked up publishers from the North during the civil war - they were locked up in a military prison but the Supreme Court set them free.
* Espionage Act makes it a crime to talk someone out of being drafted, work in a munitions, etc. These other bad acts have expired, but this one is still in effect.
* Tells story of a man who was tried and convicted under this act, but the problem was that his written urgings were in Yiddish. He died in prison.
* The other thing to remember is that the states created the federal government and not the other way away. I would have added also: and the power the states gave to the federal government, they can take back from the federal government (much applause)
* If someone came to your door with a gun and said, "give me your money so I can give it away to others in your name.' So you call the police only to find he is the police, a federal officer. Taxation is theft.
* Taxation assumes that the government has a higher right to your money than you do. The Constitution ensures that what you earn, work for, etc... is yours - not the government's.
* Congressman Clyburn - I asked him where in the Constitution is the authorization for Health Care? He said most of what we do here is not authorized in the Constitution. "Where is the prohibition for health care?" This is a problem with the thinking because the federal government is granted only limited duties with all others reserved to the states or to the people.
* Government took over the Mustang Ranch and couldn't provide hookers and booze to truckers and they want to provide health care????
* Today we gather to celebrate our freedoms. Five years from now, will there be anything left to celebrate? Only a few generations have been given the honorable role of defending freedom - this is your role today.

Friday, July 23, 2010

AFP Right On Line #2

RightOnLine's Opening Session rough notes.

Ann McElhinney, Director of the movie "Not Evil Just Wrong."

* went across to Netroots Nation to hear Van Jones so we wouldn't have to. Room was only about half full.
* According to what she heard, Van Jones believes that George Bush orchestrated the 9-11 attack on our nation.
* He said that most of the problems faced by the Progressive Movement and Barack Obama is because we banished those who would filter the news. He also said there are people engineering viruses to infect progressives. I say, 'Hello lovely, lovely viruses.'
* He said we don't need to worry about the debt because there is plenty of money out there - ask Haliburton. I say, they have no issue with the wealth of George Soros or Ophra Winfrey. They don't have an issue wealth, only with certain people who have it.
* He said something I've been saying: the way a culture evolves is by stories. I say, all over Hollywood, they're telling anti-development, anti-American, anti-capitalist stories to every house, every school child, every American. Where are the oil men telling the story of the people they employ and the comforts they make possible because of the product they produce? We don't need moratoriums, we need more energy - of all kinds.
* So I'm going to tell a story. When we came to America, we were told conservatives were obsessed with sex - that they were too interested in what you do in your bedroom. But we haven't found that to be the case. What we have found is that progressives might not be in your bedroom, but they're in every other room in your house, from your refrigerator to your bathroom, down to actually being inside your light bulb!
* People need to hear the tremendous success story of American capitalism. It has given us the best of everything and most people don't realize that the many benefits and luxuries they enjoy are the result of that capitalism.
* While progressives are telling us we should all drive electric cars, they're protesting coal mining. Where do they think the electricity they need actually comes from?
* You must watch the movie Avatar. It has the most unbelievable and most hypocritical message ever.

And then she ran out of time....

Emery McClendon - blogger and Tea Party Organizer:

* Yes, I am a tea party organizer. I am a tea party speaker. I am a true red, white and blue American.
* I was told I couldn't do a tea party because the tea party is racist.
* I told people on election night that they had the right time, but the wrong black man.

(McClendon is a black man.)

* Founding fathers built this nation on limited government and capitalism.
* If you're not angry about what's going on, get angry. If you're already angry, stay angry.
* We can restore America: Hear us Congress. Hear us Harry Reid. Hear us Nancy Pelosi. You will hear us in November.
* People want to diminish American but we will not let that happen.
* We are going to rise up and take our nation back.

(He gave an extremely energetic and powerful speech!)

AFP Right On Line #1

These are my rough notes from the opening session of RightOnLine in Las Vegas:

Erik Telford from AFP:

* Third annual event with over 1,000 registered participants
* The on-line activism is not dominated by the 'left' - there are plenty of conservative activists promoting conservative philosophies.

Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN):

* Welcomes us to Las Vegas where we will win back the west.
* Rented an old movie - called 'When Harry Met Sharon" ... don't want to ruin the movie, the Harry lost. (Harry Reid vs. Sharon Angle for Senate in Nevada)
* What happens in Vegas must not stay in Vegas - what you hear and learn here, you need to take to your homes.
* I'm a conservative, but I'm not in a bad move about it. I'm optimistic about the future and the conservative movement.
* We have a challenge - Pres. Barack Obama had a 120% approval rating, according to MSNBC. He also had a 65% approval in all 57 states.
* Freedom-loving Americans are on the march to win back the nation with their conservative ideals. Even Republicans in Congress have returned to the fight for fiscal discipline and limited government.
* Three years ago, Republicans in Congress didn't just lose their majority, they lost their way.
* Our party lost our principles, but we've found our way. Republicans are standing strong with unanimous opposition to big government and less freedoms.
* Despite conservative gains, we are facing challenges, we've lost respect in the world, we're going broke...
* We need to return our national government to the common sense and common values of everyday Americans.
* Americans are out of work and Democrats are out of ideas. They said we needed to borrow billions to keep unemployment below 8% and now it's at 10%.
* V. Pres. Joe Biden touts jobs 'created or saved,' but according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, that's not accurate.
* American families don't want to rely on government's jobless benefits, they want jobs with benefits...and Democrats are offering only more borrowing, more spending and more deficits.
* $26 Billion is projected debt in 2026 (?)
* Spent $1.6 trillion in the first 8 months of the Obama presidency, according to their own numbers.
* It is morally wrong to take the incomes of future Americans to pay for the problems of today.
* We're looking into the doe-eyed faces of our children and grandchildren and saying 'give us your credit card.'
* Americans are saying enough is enough. We must make the hard choices today to deal with the problems of today.
* Democrats have increased taxes by $670 billion. Their answer to problems is to raise taxes - and are talking about embracing the largest tax increase in American history: every income tax bracket in the country will increase as of January 1 if the Bush tax cuts expire.
* Washington DC doesn't tax too little, it spends too much!
* Only in DC would you find people who believe that increasing taxes in this economy will create jobs.
* House Republicans will oppose the tax increase on every American with everything they've got.
* Getting the economy moving again requires government to get out of control and out of the way and American will come roaring back.
* Need to restore fiscal discipline by ending the era of takeovers and bailouts once and for all.
* Americans deserve health reform that lowers their costs without growing the size of government.
* Democrats may have had their say on the first Sunday in March, but Americans will have their say on the first Tuesday in November.
* Republicans will not rest until we repeal this lock, stock and barrel.
* If you want to repeal ObamaCare, you start by 'repealing' Nancy Pelosi in November.
* And no more bailouts for insurance companies, banks, auto companies or socialist foreign nations.
* The freedom to succeed must include the freedom to fail.
* We must get spending under control in Washington DC. We've tried everything with both parties in control...
* We must limit federal spending to no more than 20% of the nation's economy in the Constitution of the USA.
* If God can get by with 10%, Uncle Sam ought to be able to get by on 20%.
* Our present crisis if not just economic and political, it is moral in nature. People in positions of authority have walked away from the principle of an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, and honesty in dealings with others - the golden rule.
* This starts in our families, our churches and our communities.
* What is at stake, what this is really all about. The day after the Wall Street bailouts, he was in his home state and many people thanked me for my vote against the bailouts. One man who'd just lost his job came out to thank him for his vote against the bailout. He said, 'I can get another job, but I cannot get another country.'
* We know what is at stake: the right to live and work in freedom.
* This election is not about who will be in control in the House and Senate, but about who is in control of our nation. Now is the time for all of us to do what we can to promote the principles that make this nation great.
* You will not fight alone. quote: Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof.
* The time has come to take our stand - the time for action is at hand. We must not be afraid but fight for the source of America's greatness: our faith in God and our freedom.
* We will take the Congress back in 2010 and take the nation back in 2012, so help us God.

Right On Line 2010

I'm at RightOnLine, sponsored by Americans For Prosperity, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This event is primarily a training session for conservative activists and it's held in the same city and the same time as the liberal event, Netroots Nation.

New for 2010, they've broken out the training sessions into four tracks:

* Online Activism 101, which is geared toward individuals who are just starting their online activism;
* Advanced Online Activism, for more experienced new media people focusing on being more strategic and effective in their efforts;
* Citizen Journalism, or the investigative reporting track;
* Public Policy, providing details and thorough information on AFP's policy priorities including killing the death tax, the takeover of the Internet, global warming/energy policy and state fiscal crisis;
* Grassroots Activism, showing activists how to get involved beyond the new media tools.

The agenda certainly provides something for everyone.

In addition to the training sessions, the following people are scheduled to speak:

* Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN)
* Ann McElhinney, director for the movie "Not Evil Just Wrong" (which was previewed by The Children of Liberty in Maumee last year)
* Herman Cain, who is also doing a live radio show from RightOnLine this afternoon
* Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
* FCC Commissioner Roberty McDowell

I listed the key note speakers in yesterday's post.

I will be joining my friends EM Zanotti and Chris Faulkner in today's last Online Activism 101 track, Getting Started: Where to go from here? Then tonight, we'll enjoy the comedy of Evan Sayet (Right to Laugh) and Steven Kruiser, a conservative comedian and Fox News Contributor.

For those of you who read my posts through my Facebook stream, I'll be blogging more than usual today and tomorrow, so I hope you won't mind the additional posts. During the general sessions and key note speakers, I'll be blogging their comments in bullet form so you can participate on line.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quotes of the Day

I'm heading out to Las Vegas today for Americans for Prosperity's annual RightOnLine Conference. I'll be blogging about the break-out sessions and will cover all the speakers, including:

* Judge Andrew Napolitano
* Herman Cain, Radio Host and Fox News Contributor
* John Fund, The Wall Street Journal
* Erick Erickson,
* Ed Morrissey,
* Jim Pinkerton, Fox News Contributor
* Representative Sharron Angle, Candidate for U.S. Senate (NV)

I'm also looking forward to catching up with Samsphere and other blogging friends:

* Warner Todd Huston, Publius Forum
* John McJunkin, fellow radio guy, morning show producer/sidekick at Newstalk 550 KFYI
* Skip Murphy, GraniteGrok
* Fred Dooley, Real Debate Wisconsin
* Steve Eggleston, No Runny Eggs
* Emily Zanotti, American Princess
* Trent Seibert, Texas Watchdog
* Stephen Kruiser
* Eric Ericksen, RedState
* Bob Weeks, Voice for Liberty in Wichita

and a host of others.

So as I prepare for a 4-1/2 hour flight, here are a few quotes to start your day:

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread." ~ Thomas Jefferson

From Richard Armey, The Freedom Revolution:

"The people themselves, not their government, should be trusted with spending their own money and making their own decisions."

"[T]he tax code has been piling up, year after year, a symbol of everything gone wrong in America, of arrogant rulers and lost freedom, just waiting for us to pick the whole thing up and heave it away. It has to happen. Free people can put up with such laws only for so long."

"Government is saying to the average citizen every January 1: 'For the next five months you’ll be working for us, for goals we shall determine. Is that clear? After May 5 you may look after your own needs and ambitions, but report back to us next January. Now move along.' ... If nearly half of what you make is spent by someone else, that means that half your work time is spent working for someone else. Call me a radical, but I think that comes dangerously close to being a form of indentured servitude."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A tribute to Chet Zarko

Several years ago, I participated in a gathering of bloggers from across the nation at the Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago. Our gathering, Samsphere as it was called, gave me an opportunity to get to know some really terrific individuals - including Chet Zarko from Michigan.

Sadly, we learned yesterday that Chet had passed away at the age of 39.

Chet was a tireless supporter of transparency in government and was a well-deserved thorn in the side of elected officials who opposed his public records and Freedom of Information Act requests. His latest work, which he believed would set a precedent, was a case before the Michigan Supreme Court against the Michigan Education Association over whether or not e-mails sent by union bosses from school computers discussing union business were "personal communications" and thus exempt from disclosure.

Everyone's money was on Chet.

While fellow bloggers in Ohio will contact me about Ohio public records law, I always turned to Chet when it came to certain strategies or federal FOIA issues. And he was always quick to respond with good advice that proved right every time.

One of the things I enjoyed most about him was his quick wit. He was not only knowledgeable, but fun - combining intelligence and humor in his discussions and comments.

He fought for freedom and individual liberty wherever it was opposed. Michigan - and all of us - are better off because of his work and his efforts on behalf of those principles.

His life was short, but impressive, and full of good deeds. We will miss him very much.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quotes of the Day

For those who believe the federal government should 'do something' every time an issue arises:

"In the first place, it is to be remembered, that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic, but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any." ~ James Madison

For Toledo City Council members who don't want voters to have a say on whether or not the city should 'pick up' the employee portion of their mandated pension payments:

"The revenue creates pensioners, and the pensioners urge for more revenue. The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, floppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole of society." ~ John Adams

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quotes of the Day

"A free society can exist only when public spirit is balanced by an equal inclination of men to mind their own business." ~ Edward A. Shils

"Had the states been despoiled of their sovereignty by the generality of the preamble, and had the Federal Government been endowed with whatever they should judge to be instrumental towards the union, justice, tranquility, common defence, general welfare, and the preservation of liberty, nothing could have been more frivolous than an enumeration of powers." ~ Virginia’s General Assembly

"The only vice that can not be forgiven is hypocrisy." ~ William Hazlitt

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things I don't want to think about on a summer Saturday

My postings have been a bit light lately, due to a number of things. I have work (yes, that thing that earns me money to help pay the bills) - and that's a good thing.

But I also have disgust at what I see going on in the political realm - and that's a bad thing.

I know exactly how so many people feel when they see what counts for 'action' by our governments at all levels and it is eerily reminiscent of the feelings I felt while in office .... that efforts are for naught.

Don't get me wrong - I'm very encouraged by a lot of things: good candidates with firm philosophies and not various 'positions' on issues; a growing awareness of the impact political decisions being made have on individual freedom; the enthusiastic embrace of limited government/low spending approaches by many individuals regardless of political party, etc...

But sometimes, the idiocy or 'stuck on stupid' things just really get to me.

We've seen Toledo City Council and the Lucas County Commissioners spending time on non-binding 'statements' opposing a state for a law greatly supported not only by their own residents but by a majority of Americans as well.

Considering all the polls on the issue, I can't help but think these elected officials are violating the wishes of their own constituents, but that's nothing new. They were catering to a specific small-but-vocal group of interests that they believe they need to placate.

We've seen the news that Ohio is facing huge budget deficits for the next year and that our governor is again hoping one-time money from the feds (actually from all of us) will get him by. State Auditor Mary Taylor warned everyone in the last budget go-round that relying upon one-time 'stimulus' funds was a recipe for bigger problems in the future - and she was absolutely right. Why the idiots in Columbus cannot see that, I don't know.

And then I heard on the news yesterday that Gov. Strickland has asked his departments and agencies to let him know the negative impacts a 10% budget cut would have. That's the most WRONG question to ask! You ask them how they can cut their budget, not how bad things could be if they are forced to do so.

I don't know why it is that politicians never want to ask the questions that will actually give them the answers they need. They always ask 'what don't you want cut,' knowing full well that every little group that benefits from the spending will show up to say 'don't cut my program.' We see that in Toledo and Lucas County, too.

Instead, they should be asking 'what can you live without'? With that type of question, you'll at least get a listing of programs, projects, etc...that people can do without as opposed to the ones they don't want to give up, regardless of priority.

So what will Strickland get as a response to his request? He'll get a bunch of doom-and-gloom scenarios as bureaucrats list the most dire consequences of a cut in funds. He'll then end up in a no-win situation if he and the state legislature make the cuts that we all know need to be made.

We've seen President Barack Obama give 'stimulus' funds to a foreign company that is setting up shop in Michigan. Where is the outrage from all the 'buy America' people?

I despise the idea of any 'stimulus' coming from the government in terms of handouts to companies while that same government simultaneously increases taxes and regulatory compliances. Talk about contradictory! We're supposed to be ever so grateful for the meager government largess while ignoring that they're making us less profitable by requirements/fees/rules/taxes/etc... that add much, much more to the cost of doing business. That's not the way to 'stimulate' the economy.

And while that is a huge thing, it's nowhere near the double standard so evident in the action. If providing subsidies to foreign companies is a bad thing, then it's a bad thing even when Democrats or Pres. Obama do it. If groups are pushing a 'buy American' approach, they need to be vocal when American tax dollars are going to a foreign company in Michigan. And if they're not going to object to this particular expenditure, they cannot object to others.

Most people can live with either position - or at least agree to disagree. But when the criteria for comments or outrage is not the principle, but whichever political party is engaged in the act, the American people see it for what it is and reject the hypocrisy. (I hope.)

We've also seen the slippery slope in full effect. Many people have rightly complained that when government pays for things, it insists upon making decisions relating to those monies. We see it with the states: impose certain laws or forgo the money we're planning to give you.

As the federal government moved into the realm of health care, they made promises about us still being in control, but many of us knew it was only a matter of time. If government is paying for your medical care, it won't be long until they're dictating your eating and exercise habits under the guise of 'containing costs' for your care.

The White House chef is now a 'senior policy advisor' to the White House so he can advise us on an 'epidemic' of obesity. I always thought an epidemic was some sort of infectious disease that spreads among the populace. Who knew that your own actions (or lack thereof) could qualify?!? So now obesity is a matter of 'national security' and legislatures are trying to figure out how to control things you eat like salt and trans-fats and junk food.

Oh - let me clarify. They're not yet trying to make YOU stop eating things that are bad for you (though they are requiring a reporting of your Body Mass Index to them by 2014). They realize that if they tell you that you can no longer eat too much salt (even though 'too much' is a large range that varies from person to person), you'll rebel. So they're telling food manufacturers that THEY can't include salt in their products - and they're doing so through force of law.

It is a slippery slope and we are gliding down it at a very fast pace, approaching an even steeper incline.

So with all these things going on it's easy to just bury oneself in work, family and things like mowing the lawn. But, as Wendell Phillips once said:

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty — power is ever stealing from the many to the few…. The hand entrusted with power becomes … the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continual oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot: only by unintermitted Agitation can a people be kept sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Challenges for the new TPS superintendent

According to today's paper, Jerome Pecko, the new superintendent of Toledo Public Schools, will have an "unorthodox employment contract."

Apparently, it's 'unorthodox' because it includes performance goals. But I think many people will say 'it's about time!'

One of the 'goals' is to get the voters to approve a 7.8 mill levy in November.

I'm going to go out on a limb and make a prediction about the strategy for this levy. I believe they'll try to convince us that the new superintendent 'deserves' the funds to make the changes he believes are necessary and that we need to pass this levy so he has the funds to do the job we just hired him to do.

This is one of the few arguments for increasing our taxes that might actually resonate with some voters. We certainly don't want to put our new superintendent into a no-win situation now, do we???

Of course, the fact that he's expected to accept the job offer and actually sign his employment contract KNOWING that the district faces a $44 million deficit for the upcoming school year probably won't even be mentioned, much less considered.

As an aside, I'm not sure I believe the job of the superintendent is to 'pass levies.' It seems to me that task should fall solely on the elected Board of Education and that the role of the superintendent would be to administer the school system, producing educated graduates with the funds allotted to him...but what do I know?

So we'll await the signed employment contract and see if it contains the levy provision - and then we'll wait for the advertising campaign to see if I'm right.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thurber's fleeting thoughts on a sunny morning

* Lucas County Commissioners have tabled the plan put forward by Pete Gerken to change Lucas County's form of government to a charter council. Under his proposal, we would have voted in November for members of a committee to study and then present a county charter. Gerken explained that there wasn't enough interest among the citizens to run for the 15 positions, reflecting the general lack of interest fellow commissioner Ben Konop found for his proposal to adopt Cuyahoga's charter language.

So while the Democrats have abandoned their support for The Blade's latest fad, Republican Party Chairman Jon Stainbrook is still 'on the streets' trying to gather the signatures Konop couldn't in order to move the agenda of The Blade forward.

Now, I could go so many places with this:

- Did Gerken present a competing idea specifically to derail Konop's? Did he privately discourage people from expressing an interest in his 'committee plan' in order to demonstrate a complete lack of interest from the community? Knowing Pete, that is very likely.

- Why is the Republican Party pushing so hard to carry out the wishes of the local paper and its publisher? We all know it's because of the close, personal relationship Stainbrook has with John Robinson Block. But are Republicans as interested in the idea as his supporters are? And have his supporters who are going door-to-door actually evaluated the plan or looked at the pros and cons? Or did they just 'believe' what Stainbrook was telling them?

- Is this 'three strikes and you're out' for The Blade? They failed to garner support for their push to keep the old United Way Building. They failed to garner support for their push to prevent the YMCA from selling/closing the South Toledo Y. Now they have failed to garner support for their county charter form of government. And they just raised the price of their daily paper to $1.00. What's next?

- Stainbrook's petitions are due tomorrow and he needs over 14,000 valid signatures. If he doesn't get them, will his self-promoted 'reputation' for being able to put 'boots on the ground' be diminished? I mean, in other people's minds - not his own....

* Toledo Public Schools has a new superintendent, Jerome Pecko, and I wish him all the luck in the world. I want to have a good public school system in Toledo - I just disagree with the methods our current board is employing to achieve that goal. But I believe he may have gotten off on the wrong foot. TPS is facing a huge deficit and will be putting a 7.8 mill levy on the ballot for November, after a stinging defeat of their income tax plan in May.

Pecko also said something a bit disturbing (clip being played on WSPD). He said that if students are leaving TPS because they're afraid of a diverse student population, then their parents are doing them a disservice. Now, he didn't say that was happening, but 'if.' However, 'if' that is what he thinks the problem is, he is going to work to address an issue that isn't the cause of students leaving the schools. And 'if' he is merely reflecting the impressions or thoughts of the TPS board, then it's no wonder the school system has such a terrible reputation for actual performance.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

BEST Act: Bill for Enforcing Societal Training Act

My friend - and fellow blogger - Warner Todd Huston has penned a column, with a twist, that may reflect what so many are feeling today when it comes to government mandates, regulations and intrusion into our private lives.

In it, he applies the 'logic' relating to the exercise of a citizen's Second Amendment rights to other enumerated items in the Bill of Rights. I highly recommend you read the entire article. I hope you'll also reflect on the implications of 'regulating' one right and how that could easily apply to regulating others. As WTH (as he signs his emails) writes: " It’s what’s BEST for us all, ya know?"

"Democrats might be right. It’s obvious that Americans have become a stupid people. Our schools have disgorged students who have fallen to the bottom of the barrel in literacy, math and science scores, late-night comedians have no lack for citizens on the street that have no cue about law or history, and as voters…. well, as voters we’ve been stupid enough to elect people like James Traficant, John Edwards, Robert “KKK” Byrd, “Benedict” Arlen Specter, Pete Stark, or for that matter Jimmy Carter and Barack Hussein Obama. We need help and what better entity than government to rescue us? So, we need some new rules so that Americans can be better controlled."

Read more....

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Guest hosting on WSPD

You may have heard that WSPD morning show host Fred Lefebvre's brother passed away. As a result, Brian Wilson will filling in for him from 6-9 a.m. and I'll be filling in for Brian from 3-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday (July 8-9).

I guess it's a good thing that my work schedule prevented me from doing much posting this week...I've got a lot of good stuff ready to go!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Quotes of the Day

More on Liberty from our Founding Fathers, thanks to Liberty Tree:

"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." ~ Patrick Henry

"Why then sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise not to devastate and to conquer but to reestablish the reign of peace and law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom that may exhibit a contrast in the felicity of the citizen to the ever-increasing tyranny which desolates her polluted shores. She invites us to prepare an asylum where the unhappy may find solace, and the persecuted repose. If we are not this day wanting in our duty, the names of the American legislators of 1776 will be placed by posterity at the side of all of those whose memory has been and ever will be dear to virtuous men and good citizens." ~ Richard Henry Lee

And from Rev. Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895), Baptist minister, journalist and author, the four stanzas to My Country 'Tis of Thee:

1. My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

2. My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

3. Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

4. Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty, to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Declaration of Independence

On our nation's 234th birthday, it is fitting and proper to recall the circumstances and beliefs that led to our founding.

In the listing of grievances that motivated the decision to separate ourselves from England, I'm especially struck by this one

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

as it is too familiar to what we experience today.

Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog also has a great post on what the signers had to endure. As he puts it, "So we never forget."

Our Declaration of Independence and the names of the people who signed it:

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Quotes for the Fourth of July Holiday

"[T]he hour is fast approaching, on which the Honor and Success of this army, and the safety of our bleeding Country depend. Remember officers and Soldiers, that you are Freemen, fighting for the blessings of Liberty -- that slavery will be your portion, and that of your posterity, if you do not acquit yourselves like men." ~ George Washington, General Orders, 1776

"Liberty is not a cruise ship full of pampered passengers. Liberty is a man-of-war, and we are all crew." ~ Kenneth W. Royce

"Better to dwell in freedom's hall,
With a cold damp floor and mouldering wall,
Than bow the head and bend the knee
In the proudest palace of slaverie
~ Thomas Moore

"The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." ~ Frederick Douglass

"What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it…" ~ Learned Hand

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Quotes of the Day

On liberty:

"The ultimate aim of government is not to rule, or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise, to free every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security; in other words, to strengthen his natural right to exist and work without injury to himself or others. No, the object of government is not to change men from rational beings into beasts or puppets, but to enable them to develope their minds and bodies in security, and to employ their reason unshackled; neither showing hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes of jealousy and injustice. In fact, the true aim of government is liberty." ~ Baruch Spinoza

"That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." ~ John Stuart Mill

"Liberty and good government do not exclude each other; and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end." ~ Lord Acton
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