Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Light postings

Just an FYI - there will be light postings over the next couple of weeks as I work with a client on a special project. I'll still post, but might not have as thorough an analysis as you would normally expect.

Kaptur late with property taxes?

Sharing this story on the Democratic Primary for the 9th Congressional District here in Ohio:

The Campaign for Primary Accountability is lending a helping hand to Rep. Dennis Kucinich in his primary by attacking Rep. Marcy Kaptur as delinquent on her Ohio property taxes.

The Super PAC is up with a district-wide $116,000 buy that accuses the Toledo-based congresswoman of being late on her Ohio property taxes nine times, while noting that taxes on her Washington, D.C. condo have been paid in full.

It's an effective strike against Kaptur because the main case against Kucinich has been that he's been AWOL from Cleveland and more focused on his national causes and ambitions. This, at least, raises a counterpoint, highlighting Kaptur's 15-term reign.

CPA Super PAC spokesman Curtis Ellis said the bipartisan group chose to target Kaptur because Kucinich is more willing to buck party leaders.

But whoever is successful in next week's primary won't see any more help in the general, since CPA's only goal is to shake up primaries dominated by one party.

Read the entire article here.

Gingrich to join Santorum, Norquist at sold-out Reagan-Lincoln Day Dinner

Press Release:

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) is proud to announce that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will also be speaking at the 5th Congressional District Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner, along with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Grover Norquist, president of American's for Tax Reform President.

The event begins at 7:00 p.m on Saturday, March 3 at Bowling Green State University's Lenhart Grand Ballroom in Bowen-Thompson Student Union, about 23 miles south of Toledo.

Over 750 Northwest Ohioans are expected to attend the sold-out, ticketed event.

Congressman Latta has not endorsed any of the Republican presidential candidates.

All 2012 Republican Presidential candidates have been invited.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mitt Romney in Toledo

This just in:

Mitt Romney wil be in Toledo Wednesday, Feb. 29th at American Posts, 805 Chicago Street, Toledo at 9:30 am.

Any questions, contact Molly Donlin

This is all the information I have and since I don't know what time doors open, I suggest arriving early.

A new tool in the fight for economic freedom

It is a well-documented fact that societies which have the best quality of life are the ones with the highest levels of economic freedom.

Economic freedom is not only the key to our past success as a nation - it is the key to our future success as well.

Our founders created a system in which we are free to choose what and how to produce and sell - and where we are free to use our own resources for our purposes. In our 'pursuit of happiness,' our only restriction is to not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same thing

But this simple concept is only viable when the laws and government of a society respect it. Unfortunately, most of our elected officials have forgotten why economic freedom is so important - and ignore how their actions, decisions, laws and programs limit and inhibit our economic freedom.

Economic freedom - how 'easy' or unrestricted it is to pursue this concept - is the engine that drives prosperity - and it is the difference between why some societies grow and prosper and others do not.

Both the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation have indexes to measure and track economic freedom in the world.

Now, there is the Economic Freedom Project which is:

"...dedicated to promoting a better understanding of the relationship between prosperity and economic freedom as vital to the continued progress of society. We hope that greater awareness about what drives prosperity will encourage individuals to protect and advance those principles that improve lives, and we seek to accomplish this by making transparent, rigorous, and consistently high-quality research accessible to the general public."

Economic freedom is critical, their website explains, because: affects every aspect of an individual’s life. Living in a society with high levels of economic freedom leads to higher incomes, lower poverty, less unemployment, longer life expectancies, and cleaner environments, among a host of other benefits. More economic freedom improves well-being and leads to a higher quality of life.

Sadly, the United States - long one of the highest ranking nations on the economic freedom indexes - is experiencing decreased economic freedom and was recently surpassed on the rankings by Canada. This is primarily due to excessive government spending - far beyond our income, resulting in borrowing more than we can ever hope to repay - and excessive, burdensome government regulations - which make it difficult, if not impossible, to open new businesses, much less run an existing business in a profitable manner.

As our economic freedom falls, so will our quality of life, as this video from the Economic Freedom Project explains:

The Frasier Institute's report, "Economic Freedom of North America 2011", ranks the United States and Canada in three areas: 1) Size of Government, 2) Takings and Discriminatory Taxation and 3) Labor Market Freedom The report is for 2009 data.

According to their report, Ohio ranks 38th out of the 60 states and provinces with a rating of 6.3 on a 10-point scale for the all-government level. The all-government level includes federal, province/state and local/municipal impact.

On the subnational level (which excludes the federal governments), Ohio still has a score of 6.3, but falls to 47th with only New Mexico, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New York and Alaska, along with seven Canadian provinces, ranking lower.

Clearly, Ohio can do more to increase its economic freedom ranking - which would do more for our 'quality of life' than any swimming pool, walking path or park ever would.

But if we want increased quality of life, we must have increased economic freedom - and it is our responsibility to ensure we hold our elected officials accountable for preserving - not infringing upon - our economic freedom.

The Economic Freedom Project is a good tool to help us in that regard and I hope you'll use their information and videos to educate yourself and others about why economic freedom is the best way to achieve our individual and societal goals.

Quote of the Day - these United States

"From the earliest ages of history to the present day there have never been thirteen millions of people associated in one political body who enjoyed so much freedom and happiness as the people of these United States. You have no longer any cause to fear dangers from abroad ... It is from within, among yourselves - from cupidity, from corruption, from disappointed ambition and inordinate thirst for power - that factions will be formed and liberty endangered ... " ~ Andrew Jackson

"I can scarcely contemplate a greater calamity that could befall this country, than be loaded with a debt exceeding their ability ever to discharge. If this be a just remark, it is unwise and improvident to vest in the general government a power to borrow at discretion, without any limitation or restriction." ~ Brutus - pseudonym, probably Robert Yates (1738-1801) politician and judge Source: The Anti-Federalist,1787-88.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New Chevy Volt commercial

The Chevy Volt commercial GM should have made:

Of course, when you drive a Volt, you can drive in the HOV lanes with only one person, as Tom Blumer at BizzyBlog reports:

Silly me. I thought “HOV” when used in connection with expressway traffic meant “High Occupancy Vehicle.” Apparently not, now that California is allowing a 2012 version of the Chevy Volt to use HOV lanes, even by drivers who have no passengers. Maybe the acronym really stands for “Haughty Obama Vehicles.” Or “Hapless Odd Vehicles.” Or “Have-to Offload (these slow-selling) Vehicles.” I’m sure readers can do better.

As would be expected, no one in the press seems to be noticing (or is pretending not to notice) the irony of letting politically favored driver-only vehicles into lanes which were originally designed to encourage people to carpool.


One upside: At least the drivers sitting stalled in those slow lanes won’t have to worry about having a nearby Volt catching fire and having it spread to them.

You can read the rest of Tom's post here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Santorum to visit NWOhio

Email Notice:

Presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, will be addressing Northwest Ohio supporters at a rally in Perrysburg, OH on Tuesday, February 28 at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike in Perrysburg (U.S. 20 east of I-75).

Conservatives and Republicans in Wood County, Toledo, Perrysburg, Maumee, and across Northwest Ohio have joined together to organize this event and are honored to have Rick Santorum spend some time with us.

We're inviting you and your friends to join us in welcoming the next president of the United States. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. This event is open to the public. Come early to get a good seat. For questions, please contact John McAvoy at 419-787-9585.

There are no tickets for this event, it is open to all!

Joke of the Day

My friend Mario has been on a roll lately with sharing jokes...I liked this one so I'm sharing:

Daddy, how was I born?

A little boy goes to his father and asks 'Daddy, how was I born?'

The father answers, 'Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe.. We sneaked into a secluded room, and googled each other. There your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

You've got Male!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Guest Post: Why I'm proud to be a Syrian

The following is a guest post from a friend of mine, Ammar Alo. He is an American of Syrian descent and a businessman in Lucas County.

Why I'm proud to be a Syrian

Growing up the son of Syrian exiles is a unique experience that is unknown to the non-Syrian community; it’s a “smell but don’t touch” policy.

Syria to me is like this mythical land of fantasies where everyone around me would tell me how great it was, but it was something I only dreamt of. The other Syrian kids would be able to go visit, spend time with their extended family, travel the great cities of Syria, indulge in the delicious foods, and just generally have a blast there. But why not me?

Why was I never allowed to visit my grandparents in Syria? Why was I never allowed to roam the streets of the Hamdiya market in Damascus? Or visit the citadel of Aleppo? Or watch the water wheels of Hama spin? Or visit the grave of Khalid Bin Waleed in Homs? Why was I never allowed to brag to friends about how I created mischief in a foreign land? Why me? Why was I barred from entering my homeland? The land of my forefathers. Why was I forced to go to countries other than Syria to visit my grandparents, aunts and uncles?

I’ll tell you why. It was because of one man, a defiant young man, who had the audacity to speak up about the atrocities that Hafiz al-assad was committing all over Syria. This young man, my uncle, dared to document some of the crimes the Assad regime of the 80’s was carrying out. This bold young man, my uncle, was arrested. This courageous young man, MY uncle, was tortured. This brave young man, MY UNCLE, was beaten. This fearless young man, MY UNCLE AYMAN, suffered so much, all for saying the truth. And then, my uncle was disappeared. This Hero’s family would forever be barred from entering Syria, lest they receive the same treatment he did.

All this happened when I was still a baby. As I grew older my father’s stories about our family's olive grove became a distant mirage; you could only see it from far away, and never get close. My mother would always tell us stories about her parent’s villa in Syria, and how lovely it was. It was all just stories, nothing tangible. I came to the conclusion I was only Syrian by name and I really had nothing to do Syria. My friends used to brag about their ethnicity, but I had nothing to brag about.

Why would I be proud to be from a place I have never been to? Why would I be proud to be a Syrian when for over forty years, Syrians have been slaves to the Assad family. Why would I be proud to be from a place that didn’t want me? Or wanted to hurt my family and me? I wanted nothing to do with it; I was done with Syria.

Soon, when people would ask me, “where are you from,” I, knowing fully well what they were referring to, would say Ohio. I no longer related to my Syrian heritage or culture. I was American, and that was it.

I had forgotten the history of the Syrian people. I had forgotten who Syrians really were. I had forgotten the bravery of my forefathers. My forefathers were Saladin Al Ayoubi and Khaled bin Alwalid. How could you not be proud of ancestors like that? How could I have forgotten the great men that called themselves Syrian?

And today, we have many great Syrian men and women. People like Abdul Basit Al Saroot, the soccer goalie turned revolutionary protest leader. I am proud to be from the same land that bore Ibrahim Qashoush, the author of the new Syrian national anthem, who was killed for his words. I’m proud to speak the same dialect as Khaled abu Salah and Danny Abdul Dayem, citizen journalists, risking their lives to document the unspeakable crimes of Bashar al assad and his mafia. I’m PROUD of courageous women like May Skaf and Fadwa Sulaiman, who left their acting careers to join the revolution.

I am proud of all the men, women and children who are risking their lives every day, every hour, and every minute, to speak up against the sadistic dictator and his sadistic thugs. Free Syrians, you have shown the world what true valor and courage is. You should be proud!

My uncle, Ayman, would have been part of this revolution had he been alive, or free. No one knows what happened to him, we have never heard whether he is alive or dead. He would be in his 50’s today. Khalo Ayman, I am proud to be your nephew; you are my hero. I hope to meet you one day, in this life or the next.

I am DAMN proud to be Syrian!

For those wanting more information about Syria, Ammar suggests

Friday, February 24, 2012

Quote of the Day - self-governance

"The best of all government is that which teaches us to govern ourselves." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A new guide to the political left

In 2009, I did a post on a website called "Soros Watch" which detailed the financial manipulations of billionaire George Soros.

The website was shut down at some point, but I'm still getting hits on that particular post as more people look for information about Soros and his dealings - especially his political ones.

To say that he's got his fingers in every leftist, liberal, and progressive cause is an understatement.

Now there is a place to go to see how he and his Open Society Institute are providing money and assistance to promote his extremist ideas - from the American Friends Service Committee ("which views the United States as the principal cause of human suffering around the world") to the Working Families Party, (an "outgrowth of the socialist New Party which seeks to help push the Democratic Party toward the left").

It's called and it's not just George Soros they detail.

Describing themselves as a "Guide to the Political Left," explains the purpose of their website:

It identifies the individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it; it maps the paths through which the left exerts its influence on the larger body politic; it defines the left's (often hidden) programmatic agendas and it provides an understanding of its history and ideas.

There is a guide to navigating DTN which details how best to use the information gathered on the website. It's right when it says that such research would have been nearly impossible for the average person to do prior to the Internet.

They don't set out to libel groups - and are serious about correcting information which may be incorrect:

By contrast, every effort has been made in the creation of DiscoverTheNetworks to avoid conflating subjective judgments about policy differences with factual descriptions of attitudes expressed by the individuals and organizations listed on this site. Individuals and organizations identified as "Marxist" or "socialist," or as having agendas sympathetic to America's adversaries, are so identified on the basis of their explicit commitment to these agendas. Their profiles are generally linked to analytic articles whose authors and sources are clearly identified. If any errors have been made in characterizing individuals or organizations, the editors of DiscoverTheNetworks will correct these as soon as they are brought to their attention. As already noted, a form is provided on the homepage of this site for this purpose.

As they further explain: "Truth in political advertising would be a more accurate description of our intentions in assembling this data."

This website describes the networks and agendas of the political Left. The database is divided into 10 major sections: Individuals, Groups, Funders, Issues, Jihad, Politics, Arts & Culture, Academia, Media and Books.

The sections are broken down into further categories and, the website says, since it is a 'work in progress' it will be expanded over time.

For instance, the Radical category in the Groups section says:

This section of Discover The Networks focuses on organizations whose agendas are those of the political far left. All of these groups are committed to radical social change; some go so far as to seek the overthrow of the U.S. government and the dissolution or transformation of all American institutions -- particularly capitalism.

and lists such groups as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

In case you're not familiar with the DSA, it gives a brief description:

"...the largest socialist organization in the United States. "To achieve a more just society," says DSA, "many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed. ... Democracy and socialism go hand in hand." DSA seeks to increase its political influence not by establishing its own party, but rather by working closely with the Democratic Party to promote leftist agendas."

Sound familiar? This is the same language that we hear from our President and many on the left. It's no wonder once you understand that this socialist group doesn't want to start their own party, but work "closely with the Democratic Party to promote leftist agendas." Apparently, they're succeeding.

Connecting the political dots is always hard. Now we have a tool to help us.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Joke of the Day

I received this via email from my friend Mario and thought it was a good JOTD. Don't worry, if you're a fan of Pres. Barack Obama, you can substitute in your most unfavorite politician.

Obama visits a primary school to talk to the kids. After his talk he offers to answer some questions.

One little boy puts up his hand, and Obama asks him his name.

" Walter," responds the little boy.

"And what is your question, Walter?"

"I have four questions:

First, Why did the USA Bomb Libya without the support of the Congress?

Second, Why do you keep saying you fixed the economy when it's actually gotten worse?

Third, Why did you say that Jeremiah Wright was your mentor, then said that you knew nothing about his preaching and beliefs?

Fourth, Why are we lending $ to Brazil to drill for oil, but America is not allowed to drill for oil?"

Just then, the bell rings for recess. The teacher says they will continue after recess.

When they resume Obama says, "OK, where were we? Oh, that's right: Question time.. Who has a question?"

Another little boy puts up his hand. Obama points him out and asks him his name.

"Mikey," he responds.

"And what is your question, Mikey?"

"Actually, I have two questions.

First, Why did the recess bell ring 20 minutes early?

Second, What the heck happened to Walter?"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Santorum to speak at local Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner

Press Release from Rep. Bob Latta:

BOWLING GREEN - The 5th Congressional District has landed Republican presidential candidate and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum as a speaker for the 2012 Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner, Saturday March 3.

The event begins at 7:00 p.m at Bowling Green State University’s Lenhart Grand Ballroom in Bowen-Thompson Student Union located off Thurstin Street, about 23 miles south of Toledo.

Tickets are $25 per person. To purchase tickets, contact your county Republican Party chairperson or email Latta for Congress at

In addition to Senator Santorum’s participation, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), will be keynoting the event. ATR is a taxpayer advocacy group Mr. Norquist founded in 1985 at President Reagan’s request. ATR is a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals and businesses opposed to higher taxes at the federal, state and local levels.

All 2012 Republican Presidential candidates have been invited.

Live coverage of tonight's Republican debate

From my friend, fellow blogger and radio host Tony Katz. You can view the live stream, beginning at 7:30, here - below this notice:

Tonight, All Patriots Media is providing LIVE coverage of the debate, and we are thrilled to be sponsored by The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity!

Our coverage starts at 7:30pm EST at

Joining me in providing the coverage is Stephen Kruiser.

We will also be taking live callers at 888-955-8669.

If you live in Arizona or Michigan, we want to talk to you.

For more on The Franklin Center, visit

Jay Carney spins Keystone Pipeline rejection without challenge from reporters

I suppose that the job of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is to spin the actions of President Barack Obama in a favorable light. But out and out lies, unchecked by the media, are beyond what Americans should expect - especially with an economic project as critical as the Keystone Oil Pipeline.

Real Clear Politics reports that in yesterday's press briefing, Carney was spinning away:

White House press secretary Jay Carney first says Republicans "forced" President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Later in his press briefing, Carney says Obama didn't turn down the pipeline.

"In terms of Keystone, as you all know, the history here is pretty clear. And the fact is because Republicans decided to play political with Keystone, their action essentially forced the administration to deny the permit process because they insisted on a time frame in which it was impossible to completely approve the pipeline," Carney said when asked about the pipeline by ABC News' Jake Tapper.

The problem is that the Keystone Pipeline has been under consideration by Pres. Obama since 2009. The only reason Republicans resorted to a 'deadline' for making a decision is because the president hadn't made one in over three years!

Or, as Michael Chamberlain at the Cranky Hermit said, "So President 'Pass This Bill Now' is telling Congress not to rush him?"

Isn't this also the President who said, "We can't wait"?

Carney later explains that the State Department didn't have time to do a proper review and that this was all about Republicans playing politics.

But what he fails to share, and what reporters either don't know or don't want to ask about, is that 10 other agencies had enough time to do a review, and - approve the pipeline!

The Corps of Engineers approved it.

The Department of Agriculture approved it.

The Department of Commerce approved it.

The Defense Department approved it.

The Homeland Security Department approved it.

The Department of Interior approved it.

The Justice Department approved it.

The Department of Transportation approved it.

The Environmental Protection Agency approved it. Yes, the EPA - certainly not an agency known to issue approvals in a timely manner.

If all these agencies could approve the pipeline in three years, why can't the State Department?

And why don't reporters call Carney on this fact?

As Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) said:

"Well, we fought and won World War II in less time than it’s taken so far to evaluate this project. I mean, with all due respect, it is an insult to the American people to say that you need more time."

An insult, indeed!

Sadly, the only one playing politics with the pipeline is Obama.

But will the American public ever know if reporters fail to challenge the spin and lies?

Saving Social Security - a policy proposal from AFP

Americans for Prosperity has a policy paper, Social Security Reform: Freedom and Prosperity for American Workers, that presents an interesting alternative for addressing the unfunded obligations of the program:

Social Security currently consumes over 20 percent of the federal budget, and that spending will only continue to skyrocket. With a wave of retiring Baby Boomers, people living longer, and a workforce that is growing slower than it used to, it's clear that Social Security’s current system is unsustainable. Any talk of trimming the federal budget must include a plan to reform this broken program.

Some policymakers have talked of increasing payroll taxes or cutting benefits for future retirees to put off the program’s inevitable bankruptcy. Thankfully, there is a better way. Social Security personal savings accounts put the program back on a sustainable fiscal path and offer a better deal for workers than the current system.

The paper below provides an overview of the advantages of personal savings accounts. We hope it can start a more rigorous and fact-based conversation about the future of Social Security in our country.

Ferrara - Social Security Reform

Quote of the Day - self defense

"[Self-defense is] justly called the primary law of nature, so it is not, neither can it be in fact, taken away by the laws of society." ~ Sir William Blackstone

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's missing from 'greenest cars of 2012' list, in conjunction with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, has published their 'greenest cars for 2012' rankings.

Guess what's NOT on the list?

The Chevy Volt, favorite of our president, and a car that gets roughly $250,000 in government subsidies to be produced.

In fact, the Volt failed to make the list of Greener Choices for 2012, though the Chevy Equinox and Ford F150 Pickup FFV did.

ACEEE is “an independent, nonprofit research group dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection.”

Here is the list with the ranking and the model:


The website also lists the 'meanest vehicles for the environment,' as if an inanimate object can be mean.

School Choice - it's not just for kids

The new short film from ChoiceMedia.TV, "Teacher's Choice," features four American educators who've chosen non-standard paths. Teachers at a charter school, an online school and a parochial school, as well as a teacher at a traditional district school who declined membership in the local union, are the subjects. As the description says:

"Their journeys have only one thing in common -- the options less traveled."

Kids aren't all the same. Neither are Teachers.

It's time they all had choice.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quote of the Day - saving the country

May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not." ~ Millard Fillmore

Smoking bans - coming soon to a park near you

I always hesitate to write about this topic for fear that some local nanny state government will decide to copy the idea. But if we don't educate ourselves about such efforts, they will continue unabated.

My husband's been doing some work in Pennsylvania and has brought me several newspapers from the area. In a recent Lancaster, PA, paper, I read an article about a plan to ban smoking in parks.

An effort to stamp out smoking in public places was introduced in Mountville Borough on Monday, but officials took no action.

Angela Trout, communications coordinator for the Lancaster YWCA, and Mary LeVasseur, manager of community health and wellness for Lancaster General Health, presented details of the Young Lungs at Play initiative to borough council members.

"One of our initiatives is to have smoke-free, tobacco free outdoor areas," LeVasseur said.

The program seeks to ban smoking in all municipal-owned open areas and parks in the county.

From what I could find on line, the Young Lungs At Play program is primarily in Pennsylvania and New York - so far. Soon, however, I'm sure it will be coming to a town near you.

When smoking bans first started, they were only going to be in airplanes - an enclosed area where people couldn't get away from the smoke. Then they extended to restaurants and other eateries, and to public buildings and then to entrances to public buildings. Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Maine and Oregon, and also Puerto Rico - have banned smoking in cars when children are present.

And now, under the convenient 'for the children' excuse, towns are banning smoking outside.

You can see that those who warned of a slippery slope were, indeed, correct.

Don't get me wrong - I don't smoke and don't like inhaling it, second-hand or otherwise. I find it to be a vile practice and hate that too many smokers believe the entire world is their ashtray so they leave their butts everywhere. I've known polite smokers (whom I appreciate) and rude ones. I believe much of the problems with smoking and the desire for smoking bans relates more to a lack of manners than anything else.

I don't have a problem with a private business - even one open to public accommodation - making their business smoke-free. And I don't have a problem with a local government deciding that their office buildings and work environment will be smoke-free.

What I do have a problem with is the imposition, through the force of government, of someone else's choice on me and others, even when it is one I agree with.

Because I didn't like the smell of smoke and the way it lingered on my clothes and in my hair, I didn't go to bars. I made a choice based upon my own wants to not subject myself to such an environment. There were plenty of others who chose differently, as is their option in a free society.

But along came the busybodies - people who decided they knew better than the rest of us - who pushed to have their non-smoking preference mandated and enforced by government through threat of criminal sanctions.

And, not surprisingly, there were plenty of politicians and newspaper editorial boards (who also hand out endorsements to the politicians) ready to jump on the bandwagon to exercise control over what should have been handled by a free market and a private property owner's business decision-making.

Yes - I do believe that a free-market solution existed. I do believe that increasing amounts of non-smokers would have influenced the decisions of business owners to make their establishments smoke-free. And while it might have resulting in some places being completely smoke-free while others were not, this is the path I would have chosen. People could then patronize only those places that served their interests - as it should be in a free market.

But just when others were beginning to think along the same lines, "for the children' comes along - and no one wants to be (gasp!) against children!

So now we have more busybodies pushing towns to outlaw smoking outside to "protect children from the effects of secondhand smoke" and preserve "green spaces as a model for a healthy lifestyle." See? They obviously know better than you do.

But do they?

Supporters of outdoor smoking bans will point to studies that say any exposure to smoke is harmful, especially to people with certain conditions like asthma or other breathing issues.

But one of the studies referenced by many groups, has details that aren't always shared by smoking ban supporters.

"We were surprised to discover that being within a few feet of a smoker outdoors may expose you to air pollution levels that are comparable, on average, to indoor levels that we measured in previous studies of homes and taverns," said Wayne Ott, professor (consulting) of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and co-author of the JAWMA study. "For example, if you're at a sidewalk café, and you sit within 18 inches of a person who smokes two cigarettes over the course of an hour, your exposure to secondhand smoke could be the same as if you sat one hour inside a tavern with smokers. Based on our findings, a child in close proximity to adult smokers at a backyard party also could receive substantial exposure to secondhand smoke."

Unlike indoor tobacco smoke, which can persist for hours, the researchers found that outdoor smoke disappears rapidly when a cigarette is extinguished. "Our data also show that if you move about six feet away from an outdoor smoker, your exposure levels are much lower," Klepeis added.

"...outdoor smoke disappears rapidly..."
"...if you move about six feet away from an outdoor smoker..."

These are the two points rarely mentioned by outdoor smoking ban supporters.

So if you're outside at a park and there is a smoker there, just move away from him. Or, if the smoker is upwind of the playground equipment, politely ask if they wouldn't mind moving to a downwind position.

As I've found most smokers respond well to being asked politely to accommodate others, common courtesy - from both the smoker and the requesster - could easily address outdoor smoking and (gasp!) without the involvement of government. See how easy that is?

There are costs associated with making a law to ban smoking in public parks. Legal fees and advertising costs to adopt and publicize a new law could be a challenge for some towns, especially smaller ones or those that have budget problems.

Never fear, though. In the time-proven approach, the Mountville supporters of the smoking ban are perfectly willing to accept incrementalism:

At the very least, she (Trout) said municipalities could look at establishing designated smoking areas that are not near areas where children play.

Just like with restaurants, they'll start with designated smoking areas and then keep moving the ball down the field. And after they get this law, they will find that further protection of the children is necessary. 'We've done so much to protect children in public, but the real problem is what they're exposed to in private,' they'll say.

Think about it - who brings children to the park? Their parents. And if the child's parents don't smoke, it's likely that they'll be exposed to smoke from the parents of their friends and neighbors.

So what is a nanny state supposed to do? Well, ban smoking at home, of course. It's already being supported and suggested by individuals in the U.S, as well as by publications from the National Institutes of Health. After all, it's "for the children."

Let's not forget Obamacare, either. When the government controls your health care, they'll control your health habits, as well.

To a nanny state, and increasingly to people within the nanny state, this makes perfect sense. If the government (taxpayer) is going to cover the costs of your medical treatments, they have every 'right' to tell you how to live and what things you are allowed to do to reduce the costs of your care - costs that everyone (well, taxpayers) are covering.

And since government is all about a one-size-fits-all approach, banning unhealthy behavior is clearly the best way to go about regulating medical costs.

Yes, this is a slippery slope.

My solution would be easier and wouldn't result in an erosion of liberty for everyone: don't cover the health costs of anyone and they'll be more likely to be responsible in their health choices and/or be willing to suffer the consequences of bad decisions. See how easy that is? And it's so much better and cheaper than creating a law to ban anything and everything that might cause one (or some) people harm while not impacting others.

But the goal in these efforts is NOT freedom.

Sadly, too many Americans just don't understand the slope they're on.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A good cause: Mobile Meals Rummage Sale

As readers of this blog know, I'm a strong supporter of Mobile Meals of Toledo. I know they're a terrific organization doing great things in our community. They're volunteer driven and serve thousands of meals each year - helping individuals (on a short-term or long-term basis) stay in their homes.

They're holding a fundraising Rummage Sale on Saturday, March 31st, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sale will take place at 115 S. Reynolds Road, near Hill & Reynolds at the strip mall next to Burger King The building formerly housed Golf Technologies.

They are currently accepting donations which can be dropped off at the above location between 10:30 and noon today, Feb. 25, March 3 and March 10. If you need to make special arrangements for dropping off the donations, you can call the Mobile Meals office at 419-255-7806.

So rummage through your closets, basements and garages, clean out what you don't need or want anymore and help a great organization in the process!

Political Quote of the Year

This is from Guy Benson, Political Editor at, on Treasury Secretay Timothy Geithner's comments to Congress regarding President Barack Obama's FY2013 budget proposal:

In Congressional testimony yesterday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner served up what might just be the political sound-byte of the year. His comment rises to that level because it perfectly encapsulates the Democrat Party's approach to confronting fiscal reality and the real threat of insolvency.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, speaking on behalf of the Obama White House, to Rep. Paul Ryan: "You are right to say we're not coming before you today to say 'we have a definitive solution to that long term problem.' What we do know is, we don't like yours."

Those two sentences speak to a mentality so bereft of intellectual vigor, so stunningly and candidly shallow, so thoroughly irresponsible, so politically myopic, selfish, and cowardly, that it should disqualify this crew from a second term in office. What a disgrace. Remember this moment the next time Democrats accuse the GOP of being the "do nothing," intransigent, "party of no."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ohio Liberty Council asks for investigation of IRS on tax-exempt status delays and demands; raises 'politically motivated' question

Many of us have seen the story about the IRS failing to grant tax-exempt status to the Richmond Tea Party Group (RTG). It appears this may be a targeted pattern or strategy from the IRS.

Like RTG, Ohio Liberty Council has been trying, for the last 18 months, to obtain tax-exempt status only to be faced with "unreasonable, overly burdensome, intrusive and possibly politically motivated" requests for information that, the group states, "have little to do with determining our organization’s qualifications for non-profit status."

So they're fighting back.

Yesterday, they announced they are going to refuse to comply with the latest round of requests and ask Ohio's congressional delegation to investigate the delay and IRS demands.

In a letter to the IRS, OLC President Tom Zawistowski wrote:

Therefore, we hereby refuse to comply with your request. We have asked our Congressional Representatives to investigate your actions and intentions and we are exploring every legal means available to defend our rights. We answered all pertinent questions about our organization in our detailed original 1024 application in June of 2010 and see no reason why non-profit status should not be granted. We hereby request that our organization be granted non-profit status on the basis of that application without further delay.”
I defy any American to read this list of demands by the IRS and not be outraged. This is the kind of personal information that this government is going to be demanding from your church, your doctor, your hospital, your business and your favorite charity going forward. This isn’t speculation, these documents prove it is actually happening and will continue – particularly under Obamacare. Like the Catholic Church, we will not comply, we will resist with all our might, and defend the Constitution.”

The list of questions from the IRS included an 'updated description' since the application was originally filed in June, 2010. It seems to me that the failure of the IRS to timely act in reviewing an application for tax-exempt status should not result in additional work by the requesting organization. But that's what you get when government fails to do it's job: additional work on your part.

They want to know all events and activities of the group, including the qualifications of the people conducting all such activities and events. And they don't just want to know past events - but future events as well, including any payment for speakers or panel participants.

Does anyone in their right mind think any organization could provide such information on future events? Exactly how far into the future is the Ohio Liberty Council supposed to go?!?

They're supposed to predict how much time members of OLC are going to spend on conducting such events and whether or not - again, in the future - the group will spend any time or resources attempting to influence the outcome of legislation.

Also like RTP, Ohio Liberty Council was given very little time to respond. The IRS request was dated January 26th and the response had to be received by February 16th. Taking out several days for mail, this left with group with about two weeks to, basically, predict the future.

Oh, and just to make it more difficult, the letter instructs them NOT to fax the response nor to call about the status of the response. And if the response isn't received on time, they'll just assume OLC doesn't want the tax-exempt status and close the case. Oh - and they could require a whole new application if the response was just delayed in the mail.

When one organization has a problem like this, it could be just that organization. When two similar organizations are being treated the same way by a government agency, I'm thinking the problem lies with the government agency.

I can only wonder if the delays and scrutiny will apply to the Occupy Wall Street tax-exempt request.

New resources in the defense of liberty

There are a lot of new initiatives being introduced, so I thought a post to tell you about them was in order.

Let's start with the Franklin Center's new Citizen Watchdog program to engage every day citizens in monitoring and reporting on their local governments. From their website:

An engaged, citizen-driven media was one of the driving forces behind the birth of American democracy. The preservation of our republic is incumbent upon the continued participation of our public in observing, reporting, and holding our government accountable at all levels.

Today, we face an abundance of challenges and opportunities. Challenges because the decline of the establishment media has been occurring at an alarming rate, with tens of thousands of journalists losing their jobs over the last few years. Opportunities because the public now has access to more tools that allow them to actively participate in government, and to make their voice heard to the public at large, than at any time before in our history.

The greatest threats to our freedom and prosperity occur when citizens lack information and government officials escape without accountability. It’s at the school board and city council meetings where no reporters are present to cover their activities, and no members of the public present to observe their conduct.

The Franklin Center is dedicated to preserving and strengthening democracy through promoting citizen journalism and engaging the stakeholders of America’s future to serve as watchdogs at the local, state, and federal level.

Our aim is to equip as many citizens as possible with the tools and skills to shine a light on government and ensure that the public is well informed about the decisions being made each day that directly impact their lives.

We have several local examples of people doing their part, including Sherry who attends Toledo City Council Meetings, takes notes and then shares them with us here on this blog.

It doesn't take much, since many are already attending meetings across the county - and anyone who share their meeting notes here is welcome to do so.

Protect Your Voice, also from the Franklin Center, is the second item, intended to help bloggers and citizen activists who report on government actions and officials.

As Franklin Center explains:

Cuts are happening in newsrooms across the country. According to the American Journalism Review’s 2009 analysis of statehouse reporters, there were 30 percent less reporters covering government than when last compared to 2003. While there hasn’t been a comparable report since to prove the continuing trend, any seasoned reporter can attest to the continued cuts by walking in a news room or a press conference.

This is a threat to democracy.

Fortunately, a new wave of energized reporters has been filling those vacancies out of passion- many unpaid. These bloggers are dedicated to informing their citizenry of its elected officials’ actions.

Because of this, we believe they deserve the same protections as reporters in the court room.

We’re not referring to careless, reckless bloggers writing about anything their heart desires. We aim to protect the bloggers that are reporting on acts of government as meticulously and honestly as the journalist sitting next to him or her at the press conference.

Times have changed and it’s time for the law to adjust. Sign the
petition now to show your support for Bloggers and Citizen Journalists who are looking out for your best interest.

For more on this, check out Franklin Center President Jason Stverak's latest column.

These two efforts are key in defending our freedom and our responsibility to ensure government works in a limited way on our behalf. But in order to defend freedom, you must understand freedom. We The People HQ will help you do just that.

"We the People is the citizen’s guide to understanding freedom. It is a project of the State Policy Network that aims to arm citizens with a deeper understanding of the roots of their liberty. We the People is series of educational stories about American founding principles, the Constitution, and economic freedom in the form of curriculum, videos, podcasts, and blog posts."

The Buckeye Institute and the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, two organizations frequently mentioned here, are Ohio members of SPN.

From We The People:

We stand at the beginning of a great awakening. More and more Americans are discovering what they don’t know about their own history and their nation’s founding principles. And they want to learn. We the People is a three-volume, twelve-part program that will provide what these citizens need: a framework for understanding where we came from and where we need to go. The objective is not simply reverence of America’s founding principles, but to bring those living principles to the center of American politics today.

Our first course, "Founding Principles of Freedom," begins by looking through the lens of the early patriots of Lexington and understanding why they fought. The articles delve into our founding documents and unwrap the essential components of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. However, there is more to the story. Episode 3 uncovers the attack on these principles for more than one hundred years.

There is a fourth episode, “To Conserve Liberty: The Movement to Restore American Principles."

I hope you'll check out these great new resources and join the effort to share information and educate your friends and neighbors on the critical issues of the day. Remember what Benjamin Franklin said - our Founders gave us a Republic and it's up to us to keep it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ohio House passes resolution supporting religious liberty, misses key point in issue

Yesterday, the Ohio House passed a resolution to protect the rights of religiously affiliated organizations by urging the repeal of a federal mandate that all health insurance plans must cover contraceptive services.

House Continuing Resolution 35 opposes the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate that religious organization provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs at no charge to their employees. It passed by a vote of 56-38 (a listing of yeas/nays, with representatives from our area in bold, is at the bottom).

The resolution urges the "President of the United States to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to rescind the rule that would force an employer to offer health insurance coverage that violates the employer's religious beliefs or moral convictions." It also asks members of Congress to enact the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act" (H.R. 1179 and S. 1467).

What I find amazing is that this was a mostly party-line vote with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. I would think that ALL state legislators would oppose the intrusion on states rights that this mandate represents.

As I've previously written:

For years, individual states have determined what insurance companies operating within their borders must provide. Some states, like Ohio, mandate certain mental health coverage. Other states have different criteria. The differences between the state mandates means that some states have lower health insurance costs than others.

This is one of the primary reasons why so many have pushed for the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines.


In presenting his compromise, President Obama is now dictating coverage to the insurance companies. The federal government has not just violated the Constitution - they have usurped the authority of the states, which had exercised exclusive authority over the coverage provided within their borders.

This further erosion of the power of the states, overtaken by the power of the centralized government, is exactly what our founders warned against and set up a structure to avoid.

But, as far as I can tell, virtually no one is talking about this aspect. And I believe it is clearly the more dangerous one.

I can't help but wonder if the vote would have been different had the resolution focused on the exclusive authority of the states (or the people, per the Tenth Amendment) to determine such things, rather than the federal government.

But then again, I've seen too many state legislators across the nation (from both sides of the aisle) willingly abdicate the rights of their states in order to advance their national political agenda.

Sadly, the politics are more important to them than the Constitution and the fact that our Ohio representatives did not focus on this important infringement means that further violations of the Tenth (and other) Amendments cannot be far behind.

***Side Note: As one of my Smart Girl Politics friends commented:

The lunkheads who are promoting this bill in the Ohio legislature need to have someone explain to them that we already HAVE a religious liberty resolution. It's called the First Amendment.

Those voting in favor of H.C.R. 35:

Adams J.
Adams R.
Hagan, C.

Those voting against:


Ohio House creates Blue Alert System

I think most people are aware of the Amber Alert - an emergency broadcast notice for when a child is taken or missing giving details of the abductor or suspect. According to their website, it's for the "most serious" of child-abduction cases.

Ohio now has a Blue Alert Program - an emergency alert system to broadcast information about suspects involved in injuring or killing law enforcement officers in the line of duty. It could also be activated if an officer is missing. It would work the same as the Amber Alert, broadcasting identifying information about suspects so they can be identified and apprehended quickly.

The bill creating the system, S.B. 258, passed the Senate 33-0 and the House by a vote of 91-9. It now goes to Governor Johan Kasich for his signature.

Upon implementation, Ohio will join 12 other states with a Blue Alert: Texas,
Oklahoma, Alabama, Maryland, Georgia, Delaware, California, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Montana, and Colorado (in order of implementation). The alerts are being supported and promoted by the National COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors) organization.

The Blue Alert will be the third alert system in Ohio, joining the Amber and Silver Alerts.

A Silver Alert is for missing seniors or other adults with Alzheimer's or other cognitive disorders and is active in 32 states.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sherrod Brown - pays taxes only after being caught not paying taxes

Human Events has an article, based upon an Ohio Republican Party Press Release (which won't open for some reason), detailing how Senator Sherrod Brown was delinquent in his Washington, D.C. property least, until he was asked about his delinquency. Suddenly, he decided to pay them.

Brown is known for supporting higher taxes on, well, just about everyone and everything. Funny how someone so keen on others paying more can't manage to pay his own.

Hypocrisy? Absolutely. But what did you expect from Sen. Brown?

Kaptur needs to learn math

Recently Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH9) appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" and proved her ignorance of both the economy and the problems facing Medicare. She stated her position that all we need to do to solve the huge budget Medicare budget is 'grow the economy.'

Even when David Walker, a former Social Security and Medicare trustee, said that wasn't possible, she insisted. Walker said (emphasis my own):

There’s a simple four-letter word Washington needs to understand–it’s called math. The math doesn’t work. We need more revenues but we’re going to have to renegotiate the social insurance contract and health care is a much bigger problem than social security but it has to get renegotiated, too.

But Kaptur, despite being shown to be wrong, stuck to her mantra:

...if we can lift people’s economic lives, where they’re working again and paying into those funds, believe me, you’ll see growth and you’ll see security in those funds.

She even says that Obamacare, which will add thousands to the Medicare rolls, will help contain costs. How embarrassing: she expects the costs to go down when thousands are added as recipients. Walker is right that she needs to understand math.

I don't know what's scarier: that she said it; that she obviously believes it; or that she gets elected spouting such illogical and contrary positions.

Here is the video with the transcript below:

KAPTUR: The most important step we can take to assure all of our social insurance programs and earned benefit programs are solvent in perpetuity is to get people back to work. Our focus has to be on economic growth and investment in this country. President Obama has laid out a road map for that. I’m anxious to walk down that road, because here in Ohio, northern Ohio, from Cleveland through Lorraine to Toledo, we see the results of the automotive industry recovering. It is magnificent. Let me tell you, it’s lifting revenues in all accounts, in order to help us fund our school systems.

ANCHOR: Congresswoman, hold on a sec. David Walker, is she correct? Could we grow enough so Medicare would become solvent? At what rate would the United States have to grow?

WALKER: As a former trustee of Social Security and Medicare and knowing something about the government’s finances, I can tell you there’s no way that will work. You would have to grow the economy by double-digit real GDP growth, achieve full employment for decades and that still–that’s not going to happen. That’s just not going to happen. There’s a simple four-letter word Washington needs to understand–it’s called math. The math doesn’t work. We need more revenues but we’re going to have to renegotiate the social insurance contract and health care is a much bigger problem than social security but it has to get renegotiated, too.

ANCHOR: Ma’am, is your party ready to renegotiate the social welfare contract?

KAPTUR: I think what President Obama did with the affordable health care plan was to put us on a track for prevention and to save some of the costs that are burdening us as an economy on the health care side. Those changes are going to lock in. In terms of Social Security, which is an earned benefit, as well as Medicare, if we can lift people’s economic lives, where they’re working again and paying into those funds, believe me, you’ll see growth and you’ll see security in those funds. But when you have so many people sitting on the sidelines, we’ve got to have programs to put people back to work, building bridges, here in Ohio–having idle people doesn’t help the economy grow. We have to keep our shoulder to the wheel, and invest and create jobs in this country.

SORKIN: We need to get the economy back in order, there’s no question. Having said that, as David just said, the math doesn’t work. Ultimately, you have to somehow fix the safety net, and what it means probably is making the safety net a little less safe.

KAPTUR: I’ll tell you if we didn’t have the trade deficits that are wiping out most of our GDP growth we would have more job creation in this country, so I respectfully disagree with the gentleman.

ANCHOR: You believe that with job creation…we could pay for Medicare?


ANCHOR: Glad we have have you on the record on that.

WALKER: Based on realistic assumptions, Medicare is underfunded $37 trillion and Social Security is underfunded $9.2 trillion, and those numbers go up 2 trillion to 3 trillion a year on autopilot because of the power of compounding. That’s where we’re at and Congress better start doing its job, because Greece is not far off.

KAPTUR: We need investment in this country, sir, if so many jobs hadn’t been outsourced more people would be working and, if we could open more of the closed markets of the world, we could sell more of our goods to China and Japan. Why does a Cherokee cost $85,000 in China? If we could manufacture…

SORKIN: Ma’am, I apologize, the issue, it’s not an either/or.

ANCHOR: Andrew lost his mike so we’re having a ‘squawkward’ moment here.

SORKIN: That is the longest mike. Sorry, the point is it’s not an either/or proposition, it’s a combination and that ultimately is where we’re going, congresswoman, with this question. Everything you said you could agree or disagree with, depending on where you are politically, but we need to grow the economy, but the other issue is dealing with these entitlements. It sounds like you’re not prepared to deal with them.

KAPTUR: My primary focus is putting people back to work, because I understand the drag that this level of unemployment puts on this economic growth, and from what I’m hearing you say you don’t have much of an interest to reemploy the Americans sitting on the sidelines and want to work.

ANCHOR: No, that’s completely false. The spirit of our question was whether or not you are interested in talking about entitlement reform in a way that would ultimately help the budget in the long-term. There’s nothing in any of the requests we suggested here that we don’t want people to get back to work.

KAPTUR: I’m glad to hear that.

WALKER: Actually, I do believe we need more investment but if we don’t start dealing with structural deficits we have bigger economic, much bigger unemployment, much bigger underemployment problems in the future.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quotes of the Day - laws

"Fidelity to the public requires that the laws be as plain and explicit as possible, that the less knowing may understand, and not be ensnared by them, while the artful evade their force." ~ Samuel Cooke

"The federal criminal code currently includes more than 3,000 offenses and hardly a congressional session goes by without an attempt to add new sections." ~ Stephen Chippendale

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties, which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure." ~ Thomas Jefferson

What we're all missing in the Obama-contraception-Catholic Church debacle

For years, individual states have determined what insurance companies operating within their borders must provide. Some states, like Ohio, mandate certain mental health coverage. Other states have different criteria. The differences between the state mandates means that some states have lower health insurance costs than others.

This is one of the primary reasons why so many have pushed for the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines. Having the ability to purchase an insurance policy that doesn't charge me for mental health services or well-baby care (two things I don't need), even if it's from Kentucky, would mean I would be paying less for health insurance while paying only for what I need.

The states were supposed to work this way - where experimentation and ideas could be tried and, if successful, adapted to other states.

Enter President Barack Obama and his administration ruling that all employers, even religious ones (like hospitals and homes, but not actual churches) must provide - free of charge - contraception and aborticides to their employees, regardless of their religious teachings.

The Catholic Church, with a strict teaching that such things are contrary to God's will, rightly objected and the firestorm erupted. That the ruling and mandate was contrary to the First Amendment was clear to anyone not supportive of the President's desire to dictate to the American people. It was probably clear to supporters, too. They just chose to ignore it or twist it in some way to make the mandate acceptable.

In an attempt to 'compromise' on the issue, the Obama Administration decided that the religious organization didn't have to provide such coverage after all. The insurance companies would be required to provide it - still free of charge - instead.

Now, most people realize that if an insurance company has to provide a product to customer without charge to the user, they'll recoup their costs one way or the other. This means that religious organizations will still be paying for something they find abhorrent and contrary to their teachings.

The problem - the violation of the First Amendment, that "Congress shall make no law...' - still exists. But that's not the biggest - nor the most overlooked - problem.

In presenting his compromise, President Obama is now dictating coverage to the insurance companies. The federal government has not just violated the Constitution - they have usurped the authority of the states, which had exercised exclusive authority over the coverage provided within their borders.

This further erosion of the power of the states, overtaken by the power of the centralized government, is exactly what our founders warned against and set up a structure to avoid.

But, as far as I can tell, virtually no one is talking about this aspect. And I believe it is clearly the more dangerous one.

The Constitution limits what the federal government can do. In celebrating the 'seeming' reversal over the violation of the First Amendment, too many are embracing the violation of the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

And if the federal government can dictate this - along with speed limits and education and other requirements - what limit still exists?

Don't be fooled by this misdirection. The federal government is grossly out of control and if the states don't stand up for their rights, they may find they have no rights left.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

CPAC straw poll

Press Release - note that bloggers and press were not allowed to participate in the straw poll:

ACU Announces Results of The Washington Times CPAC 2012 Presidential Straw Poll, New National Survey of Self-Identified Conservatives

Former Governor Mitt Romney Wins Straw Poll and Leads National Presidential Primary Survey

WASHINGTON, DC – The 39th Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) today concluded with former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney winning the annual CPAC straw poll, a high-energy day bracketed by dynamic speeches from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Both the straw poll and national survey were sponsored by The Washington Times and conducted by Tony Fabrizio, principal of Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates.

In first place, Governor Romney secured more than 38 percent of the vote by registered CPAC attendees, followed by Senator Rick Santorum at 31 percent, former Speaker Newt Gingrich at 15 percent and Ron Paul with 12 percent.

“The polling process this year has been improved to allow for greater participation by our members,” said ACU Chairman Cardenas. “We have embraced the digital age with electronic ballots, successfully extending the voting period while delivering more prompt results. Among other improvements, these changes contributed to an overwhelming turnout.”

Under separate cover, The American Conservative Union conducted a national live telephone survey of 600 self-identified conservative voters, revealing that the results showed former Governor Mitt Romney leading with 27 percent, followed very closely by Senator Rick Santorum with 25 percent, former Speaker Newt Gingrich with 20 percent and Ron Paul with 8 percent.

“The Washington Times is honored to again return this year to sponsor the CPAC 2012 Presidential Straw Poll. CPAC remains the premier annual event for galvanizing conservatives, advancing conservative principles and growing the movement, and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Tom McDevitt, President of The Washington Times. “For the first time ever, we are also sponsoring a national survey of self-identified conservatives, giving voters a snapshot of the hearts and minds of conservatives across America.”

CPAC ended Saturday afternoon, concluding three energetic days of conservative speakers and panel discussions. During the conference, Chairman Cardenas announced that CPAC will be hosting regional events in Chicago, Charlotte and Los Angeles later this year.

The American Conservative Union is America’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization and was founded in 1964. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s Capital since 1974. To learn more about the Conservative Political Action Conference, please visit


Quote of the Day - appeasement

A quote while a gather my notes and write CPAC 2012 follow-up posts:

"No man survives when freedom fails,
the best men rot in filthy jails;
And those who cry ‘appease, appease’
Are hanged by those they tried to please
~ Hiram Mann

Saturday, February 11, 2012

CPAC - Ann McElhinney

rough notes from film producer Ann McElhinney - always a hoot to listen to (apologies for typos):
She's wearing a black t-shirt 'Fracking Brilliant" ...

- people have always been able to light their water...that's why you have towns called Burning Springs.

- why does water light? because America is so blessed to have so many resources. Do you think it's an accident that you have all that oil, gas, coal?

- there's a difference between us - some of us tell the truth and some of us lie.

- there are people in California driving electric cars who don't know that power comes from coal.

- like most people when it comes to energy - I like cold beer and the dishwasher

- think about baby born premature who just went home - would she have gone home

doing a film to take on the liars: Frack Nation ( for $1 donation you'll get executive producer status and be listed in the credit for the film

- anti-fracking film producer (missed name) admitted he knew you could always light water in American and when asked why he didn't include it in his film, he said it was "not relevant"

- tiny towns that were dead are now prosperous because of fracking jobs - this is American Dream

- environmentalists love windmills that are killing birds, but they don't like copper mines...Windmills are made from copper - Connect the dots!!!

- don't let EPA get involved in regulating oil and gas in your state - your state can do it better.

CPAC - Dinesh D'Souza

rough notes on comments from Dinesh D'Souza (who is one of my all-time favorites):

- Welcome to Indian-American morning at CPAC (he followed Gov. Bobby Jindal)

- want to talk about Pres. Obama - the most unknown man to enter the presidency

- black holes in his history: who did he room with, what were his grades, talked about living with a woman for a long time - who was she? no reporter has every published her name.

- there are ideological holes as well

- widely diverse descriptions - Manchurian candidate, secret Muslim, socialist vs. messiah, smartest man, first black president

- not a traditional democrat like Clinton, Kerry, Dukakis or hapless Jimmy Carter - we got them; knew where they were coming from.

- Obama - wants Churchill's bust removed from his presence; wants to block oil drilling in American while subsidizing it around the world; uses force in Libya but refuses to use force in Syria;

- Obama abstains from action in Iran...why does he intervene here, but not there? What's driving this guy? Knowing his compass helps you understand what he's doing and where he's going.

- film preview of 2016: what would America look like if Obama gets a second term. Remember, he won't be tethered by public opinion; won't have to run again; he's free to do what he wants - but what does he want to do?

- what is his dream? is it the American Dream? Is it MLK's dream? no.

- American dream made his success possible, but he rejects American exceptionalism. He doesn't defend the color-blind ideal; he benefits from it but doesn't advance it.

- Autobiography: "Dreams from my father" ... which means - here are the dreams I got from my Dad. So who was his dad? he was an anti-colonialist. I grew up in India and understand this concept...everyone I grew up with are anti-colonialists.

- most powerful ideology in the past 100 years...

- simply: the world is dividing into the oppressors and the oppressed: led by west (America) which got rich exploiting the oppressed and must be 'leashed'

- economically - must use the power of the state to control the finances; banks, etc...

- what does country do when you have powerful control of economy? Obama's dad said you must have confiscatory tax rates on them of up to 100%... The thought being 'it's not theirs - it belongs to the collective'

- Obama tells story of going to father's grave and wept - said "I can't have my dad so I'll take his dream."

- so you take the anti-colonialism of father and apply to the son, you see everything come together...including relationship with Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers. The puzzle comes together.

- film will come out in the summer. Film is a journey into the heart of Obama - to figure out who this unusual man really is. It's not a partisan film.

- we try to inject history onto him - but he has his own history.

- he's not an ordinary Dem; they want to redistribute income in America; Obama wants to realign our position in the world.

- he'll be hard to beat, but people need to know the man - and the fill will give you the intellectual ammunition to contest the most important election since 1980

Friday, February 10, 2012

CPAC - Rep. Allen West

my rough notes of the comments from Rep. Allen West (apologies for typos):

(he gets a standing ovation and extended applause as a welcome)

- last year, I thanked you for restoring conservatism in 2010 elections, but new battle looms large in 2012 and we cannot sit on our laurels...we must set our sights on something bigger.

- cannot be satisfied with holding 1/3 of the federal government - we must keep the House, take the Senate and occupy the White House with conservatives.

- hope this is the year of conservative renaissance.

- if that is to happen, it takes each of us doing a better job explaining who we are and what we stand for.

- been portrayed as racists, etc... here to set record straight

- we believe in effective government that is limited in scope - want a return to fundamental American principles our founders dreamed of and established.

- vision of a country in which people would be free - to decide their own lives, make a living, raise their children, choose their leaders for themselves resulting in leaders who were responsive to the will of the population - not the population responsive to the will of the leaders.

- Founders understood that power corrupts and even good men could be tempted to expand their control and today we have a federal government that tries to improve human nature for force and coercion.

- Founders place clear boundaries on federal authority - in no uncertain terms - and codified those conditions in the Constitution of these United States of America.

- in creating clearly enumerated long as document remained valued, there would be a limit on how much power elected officials could command.

- allowed bureaucracy to bloom out of control until no area of life is free from its dominance...government has shed bonds of constitutional restraint.

- will we stumble blindly down the road to a bureaucratic nanny state or return to the ideals upon which this nation was founded.

Your answer to this question determines if you are a liberal or conservative.

- We believe in you having control of the fruits of your labor - they believe government has first dibs on you and your property

- we believe in the individual - they believe in the collective

- people make decisions how to spend/invest their paychecks. What's right for one may not be right for another, but each family has that ability to make that decision for themselves.

- liberals worry that what's best of the individual might not be good for others and they believe in stepping in to make sure the Marxist maxim is enforced: from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.

- this assumes we won't help those who need it unless forced to by the power of the state.

- liberals charge: have you no compassion? I respond: of course, we just believe the safety net shouldn't be used as a hammock. (huge applause)

- we know people are generous - to think we wouldn't willing choose to look for another misses the true nature of humanity.

- one sides it believes it is our duty to sacrifice what is right for us and our families must be sacrificed for what the government says is best for society...

and they call that fairness/fair share/economic justice...we see it for what it rightly is - legalized plunder that strips us of our dignity as human individuals.

- we recognize that public good is a misnomer - what is public if not the people who comprise it...what is good if not what is in the best interest of the individual.

it's not the public good, but the individual good, the person good.

- it is up to us to make the case for freedom - and if you don't think this is a battle that is worth living, remember history. If freedom doesn't prevail here, expect liberty to fail throughout the world.

- we are best hope for liberty on the planet and we must not allow the liberals to move us away from the policies of the past which can sustain our future.

- are we mindless lemmings following liberals who seek to enslave for their own gain?

- Joshua 24:15 - ... choose for yourself this day whom you will serve ...

The choice could not be any clearer - we will serve God, we will serve this Constitutional Republic and we will serve America.

Quick thoughts on Ann Coulter's 'appeal to moderates' advice

Ann Coulter, a Mitt Romney supporter, said several things during her comments to CPAC that we've heard before, but don't necessarily ring true to me.

She said we need a candidate who can appeal to the moderates and independents.

I don't disagree that any candidate should appeal to the middle - that's the only way to earn their vote and win an election.

I disagree, however, that earning the support of the middle means we need to elect someone who does not represent conservative principles.

This 'appeal to independents' approach has historically been used by many to imply we cannot win when we support 'right-leaning' principles and policies so we must moderate ourselves in order to win.

This is what I find so repulsive - as well as incorrect. Conservatism and electibility go hand in hand.

Ronald Reagan did not shy away from his conservative principles. In fact, he relished in them. He believed them in his heart and soul. His fundamental faith that those principles are part of what makes this nation great - and, in fact, are the only way to advance the freedom and liberty our founders fought for - shone through in his words and deeds - and in his eyes when he talked about them.

His message of liberty and American exceptionalism moved independents, moderates and even many democrats to vote for him. Not because he tried to appeal to them, but because he spoke to their hearts.

Rick Santorum hit on this during his comments, when he said conservatives abandoned their principles in the name of 'cooperation' and 'getting things done' and, increasing, in whom to choose as our party's nominee.

I reject the idea that a person who not only speaks, but exhibits in their record, a conservative philosophy cannot appeal to the middle.

Conservatism is the clear opposite to the socialistic path our current President has placed us on.

I have faith that the American public, when given such a clear choice, will choose freedom, liberty, a limited government (rather than one that controls every aspect of your life) - and yes, the conservative candidate.

But only if that candidate is credible - not someone who is saying something opposite of their record just to get elected.

CPAC - Ann Coulter

My rough notes from Ann Coulter's comments at CPAC 2012 - apologies for typos:

- greetings 1 percenters...

- Michael Moore is only 1 person and he controls 33% of the world's cholesterol...the system is rigged

- one of liberal mobs attributes is their infernal slogans that sound great but are actually moronic...

- it was slogans that got Obama elected "hope and change," "we are the ones we've been waiting for" ... now we have a lunkhead in the White House, we're $15 trillion in debt and Obama wants to spend more.

- First it was the $1 trillion stimulus that was supposed to be for jobs but just stimulated the government and now they want another trillion for 'jobs'...

- Republicans should just ask what happened to the last trillion?

- Obamacare is so terrific that Democrats immediately started handing out waivers... This did bring us all together, though, as Obama promised.

- the lowest unemployment numbers Obama had was the day he took office - gone up since then. Everyone in media is celebrating, even though the rate is now a full point above when he took office.

- even with all this, Obama is going to be difficult to beat because he's an incumbent; people keep telling pollsters they like him personally; he's black;

- voters with 40 years of politically correct education are estatic to have a black president. When is it going to be okay in this country to admit we elected a person because of his skin - I'm talking about John Boehner.

- Beating an incumbent has only happened twice in the last 100 years.

- That's why I supported Chris Christie who takes on the evil of our day - the public sector unions.

- Since last year, Obama has gotten worse and (Mitt) Romney has gotten better. (Coulter is a Romney supporter)

- This time Obama has to run on his record - and the only people calling for hope and change are us

- Since I've been up here talking, Obama has hired more hard-core lefties...This is the most important election in our lifetime because this is our only chance to repeal Obamacare.

- Who are you willing to stake the future of this country on winning? Who is going to appeal to the most independents?

- On election day, every stupid woman in the country will be driving to the polls sobbing because she's afraid of Newt Gingrich. I too enjoy people who annoy the media - I am that person.

- The only question you should be asking is who will have the most appeal to independents - to my generation?

- Reagan took out a sitting president by focusing not on the man, but by saying Jimmy Carter's policies failed.

- Dems like to characterize opponents as dumb - that's one thing you can't call Romney. He may be square, but haven't we had enough of hip by now?

Takes questions from audience:

Q. How can you be a female and a conservative - question college student gets at school.

A. All pretty girls are conservative. It's the feminist movement that has set us back - the reason liberal women are liberal is because they have to date liberal men (and we've seen how liberal men treat women - Clinton, Strauss, Weiner)

What liberals want is birth control crammed down everyone's throats - who does that help? Clinton, Strauss...

Q. How confident are you that Romney will do what he says now, considering his record?

A. You have to be insane to not think Romney is going to repeal Obamacare. If you can't trust that, you might wonder what if Obama becomes a free-marketer?

There are no Rockefeller Republicans running anymore. We've run - now it's only matters of degree (of conservative). Romney has the strongest position on illegal immigration, which is the single most important issue after Obamacare.

This is the future of the country.

Q. Romney supporter - what do you think of the future of the 10th Amendment and respect for the rights of state governments?

A. Concerned that some conservatives have begun calling anything they like 'constitutional' but things they don't like 'unconstitutional.' Constitution: the most brilliant document ever conceived in the minds of men for promoting freedom. There's a reason it's a limit because that's freedom producing. States can do things the federal government can't. It's why New York can ban salt and Tennessee can have guns all over. This is why Romneycare is constitutional and Obamacare is not.

Just the beginning: contraception ruling isn't a Catholic issue, it's a freedom issue. The point is - insurance is to insure against unexpected catastrophes. You don't call up your State Farm agent for an oil change. They're taking over every aspect of what you do and what you eat and calling it insurance. Soon every insurance company is going to have to cover and pay for everything that some liberal decides is wanted.

This isn't insurance - it's a scam, it's about government taking over your lifes, it's not Romneycare.

CPAC: International Defender of Freedom Award

It was fitting that the International Defender of Freedom Award was presented posthumously to former Czech President Vaclav Havel, a true leader who advanced the principles liberty and freedom in his own nation and in the world.

Rick Santorum - CPAC comments

These are my notes on Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum's comments at CPAC 2012. Please forgive any typos and such.

Santorum is joined on stage by his entire family....

- not the Von Trapp family and we're not going to sing...also not going to tell any jokes (his introducer said, "a liberal and a moderate walk into a bar and the bartender says, 'hi Mitt')

- attended a lot of CPACs over the years: said in the past Conservatism did not fail the country, conservatives failed conservatism

- abandoned principles and values to 'get things done' and 'win'...hearing those same things today.

- being told we have to compromise - but I think we've learned our lessons and we will no longer abandon our principles which made this country great for a hollow victory in November.

- we're not just wings of the Republican Party - we ARE the Republican Party

- we know each other, we've worked together - knowing the people, who they are and what they stand for is important. As President we will surround ourselves with people who share our values, who understand the principles that made this country great.

- election isn't just about jobs; put forth an economic plan that the Wall Street Journal called 'for the working man'...want to create opportunities for everyone - from very poor to rich

- important to tackle debt that is crushing our country and our children - an immoral debt.

- promises to balance the budget in 5 years and will spend less money than the year before - no more 'cuts in the rate of growth' (much applause on this)

- election is about principles; vision of who we are as Americans because that's what is at stake.

- election about what kind of country we're going to leave to the next generation. Are we going to still be a country that believes our rights don't come from government or from a higher authority?

- current administration thinks they (government) can give you rights...the 'right' to health care in Obamacare.

- when government gives you rights, it can take away those rights. When it gives you rights, it can determine how you can exercise those rights and what you must do. And government will own you - you will have to do what they say in order to get medical care for your children.

- Margaret Thatcher said she couldn't do what Reagan did because of the British National health care system...

- The Catholic Church is now being told what it must do - that it must pay for something that costs only a few dollars. That's not what 'insurance' is for - to pay for everything, even minor expenses.

- This isn't just about contraception, it's about economic liberty - government control of your lives and it's got to stop.

- This isn't the only place Pres. Obama has tried to control your lives - the left likes to use your sentimentality. We are stewards of this earth and have an obligation to be good stewards. They used this with the politicization of science and 'man-made global warming' with Obama's efforts to get control of our energy production. Their control will destroy the economy.

- need affordable energy and this administration has attacked us with cap-and-trade and global warming - now they're going after hydro-fracking. We've done this for years in Pennsylvania...about 700,000-800,000 such wells in the U.S. but now this is a 'scare you' effort to stop the energy.

- We're not going to win because the candidate has the most money to beat up on their opponent.

- Pres. Obama will have more money, no matter who the nominee is.

- Will take someone with vision and contrast to go up against the failed policies of Obama

- who has the ability, contrast, strong record? (crowd says 'you')

- Obamacare - who has record of supporting health savings accounts, tort reform and bottom up reform vs. who has supported the step-child of Obamacare? Someone who would give away the issue of government control of your health?

- who would be better at defending your ability to determine what kind of lights to turn on in your home? Someone who supports man-made global warming or someone who will defend your liberty?

- who provides the clear contrast of free people and free markets versus government control? We're going to win with clear contrast, principles and making the failed policies of Barack Obama the focus of this race

- in 2010, we won because Conservatives rallied over the contrast our candidates presented. when it comes to winning moderates, why would they support someone the party isn't excited about?

- excitement for our candidate will pull moderates to us

- Rights come from God and we've documented that in our Declaration of Independence. The how of America is in our Constitution, but the why of American is in the Declaration. The one job of government is to protect those rights so YOU can build your family, community, businesses, etc...

- 'pledge lives, fortune, sacred honor' closes Declaration. We're not asking you to pledge your lives, grateful for military who does that on our behalf...

- not asking for fortune, but you can donate a piece of that fortune (laughter)

- asking for your honor - for you to put your honor on the line.

- we are stewards of a great inheritance and it is our responsibility to shepherd that inheritance to our future. You are blessed to live in a time when America needs you.

- Please, walk out of this gathering, choose the candidate you believe is the right person to lead this country, not just to victory but to the way you believe our duty needs to be done.
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