Posts Tagged ‘Individual Liberty’
Another day, another Obama scandal.
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
How much money is on the line in this suit? Oh, a mere $25,000 in compensatory damages. Per violation. Which adds up to “a minimum of $250 billion.”Has Congress begun those emergency sessions to shut down ObamaCare yet? What else do they need to hear?
If they’ve already proven themselves capable of targeting conservatives with only their tax information, what will they be capable of when they have even more information on their targets?
If they’ve already illegally released conservatives’ confidential tax information, what’s to stop them from leaking dissidents’ personal health information as well?
Obamacare is not merely a massive overhaul of the health care system. It is also a substantial expansion of the Internal Revenue Service. That’s because the law relies on the tax collection agency to both enforce its individual mandate and administer the tax credits the law offers to subsidize the purchase of health insurance. Following recent revelations that agents in multiple IRS offices, including tax officials in Washington, targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, a number of former and current Republican legislators are already counseling caution about the agency’s role in administering the law.
Concerns about the agency’s oversight of the health law are well-founded—and not only because of general concerns about the agency’s judgment.
For one thing, the IRS appears to have specifically targeted groups that opposed the health care law. According to The Washington Post, “although some of the groups were explicitly labeled ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot,’ others that came under intense scrutiny were focused on challenging the Affordable Care Act — known by many as Obamacare — or the integrity of federal elections.”
In other words, the agency has singled out Obamacare opponents for unusual treatment. That does not speak well of the agency’s ability to fairly carry out its duties under the law.
Indeed it does not.
The editorial board at Investors Business Daily is similarly concerned:
[O]bamaCare’s individual mandate takes effect in 2014, all Americans who file income-tax returns must deal with and report personal health information to the IRS.
The IRS will require the name and health insurance identification number of the taxpayer, the name and tax identification number of the health insurance company, the number of months the taxpayer was covered by this insurance plan and whether the plan was purchased in one of ObamaCare’s “exchanges.”
Heavy fines will be levied for failure to jump through all the government’s hoops.
The new tax mandates and penalties in ObamaCare will require up to 16,500 new IRS personnel to collect, examine and audit new tax information mandated on families and small businesses, according to an analysis by the Joint Economic Committee and the then-minority GOP staff of the House Ways & Means Committee in 2010.
Will the IRS enforce the mandate rules impartially, or will it go after only those who support individual liberty and oppose government encroachment on it?
Will ObamaCare resisters also be considered enemies of the state?
It’s all in the family.
1973: reporters investigate All the President’s Men. 2013: reporters are All the President’s Men.
You knew the mainstream media was biased, but this is incredible. It was revealed todaythat CBS News President David Rhodes’ brother is Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who was instrumental in rewriting the Benghazi talking points. But it gets worse. It is now learned that ABC President Ben Sherwood’s sister, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, is a Special Assistant to Barack Obama on national security affairs. But even this isn’t it! CNN’s deputy bureau chief, Virginia Moseley, is the wife of Tom Nides, who until February was Hillary Clinton’s deputy.
It doesn’t stop there, either. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is married to Claire Shipman, who works for ABC News.
Could it be that Obama appointed relatives of the press to his administration in order to make the media more reluctant to damage it with accurate reporting?
Could it be that the lack of reporting on Benghazi and other scandals – especially prior to the election – had something to do with this?
Translation: Don’t think. Don’t Question. Just go along with whatever the ruling class tells you to do.
A year to the day after kicking off his re-election campaign at Ohio State University, President Barack Obama returned to the college campus and told graduates that only through vigorous participation in their “democracy” can they right an ill-functioning government and break through relentless cynicism about the nation’s future.
Obama also urged the students to “reject these voices” that warn of the evils of government, saying:
Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
We have never been a people who place all our faith in government to solve our problems, nor do we want it to. But we don’t think the government is the source of all our problems, either. Because we understand that this democracy is ours. As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of self-government.
The cynics may be the loudest voices—but they accomplish the least. It’s the silent disruptors—those who do the long, hard, committed work of change—that gradually push this country in the right direction, and make the most lasting difference. [Emphasis added]
Doug Powers makes a powerful observation:
Interesting. Obama said that those who warn others to be on the lookout for government tyranny run counter to the reason this “brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule” called the United States of America was formed, when in fact a stand against government tyranny is precisely why this country came into existence. Can somebody please flick the paradox switch on the teleprompter to the “off” position?
Thomas Paine wrote about the “government and society should be a single entity” approach in Common Sense, and concluded the two should never be indistinguishable:
“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one;”
1. We need no further proof to justify a chorus of horse-laughter over his claim to being a Constitutional scholar. Because a Constitutional scholar would have read a book or two. Specifically, say, the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. He would’ve seen that the nation was extremely concerned about tyranny in America in the run-up to the ratification of the federal Constitution. Indeed, those on the Anti-Federalist side seem more like prophets with each passing day, as they were convinced that the new Constitution would not, in fact, keep tyranny from happening here. Warning about government tyranny is practically the sine qua non of the American experiment.
President Reagan spoke as an American in this honorable tradition when he quipped that the scariest words in our language were, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Mr. Obama speaks those words in earnest, like he really means them, and wonders why anyone would be nervous about it.
2. I really have no idea who he’s talking about, these mysterious voices warning of tyranny lurking around the corner. Everyone I know who is paying any attention is aware that tyranny is here right now, out in the open! I wish we lived in a time when tyrants were still afraid to show themselves!
I especially like Trifecta’s take on this:
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Earlier today, 7 anti-gun bills were defeated in the senate (2 more remain to be voted on Thursday).
Never one to take defeat graciously, Obama threw a full-blown tantrum in the bully pulpit, using Gabby Giffords and the Newtown families as political props as he declared the Senate vote “shameful” and slammed 2nd Amendment advocates as “liars.”
With the failure of the Democrats’ attempt to exploit the Newtown school shooting to press forward gun control measures, President Obama took to the microphones along with the relatives of Sandy Hook victims to demonize his opposition. This, of course, was his strategy all along: knowing that he did not have 60 votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass his gun control legislation, he pressed forward anyway, hoping to paint Republicans as intransigent, immoral tools of the gun lobby who don’t care about dead children. After demonizing Republicans, Obama hopes, he can press Americans into voting Democrats back into power in the House of Representatives.
On Wednesday afternoon, Obama played his part to perfection. Mark Barden, father of a first-grader murdered in Newtown, introduced him. Flanking Obama were other Newtown victims; Vice President Joe Biden, face creased in supposed emotional agony, his arm around the mother of a Sandy Hook victim; and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who has been one of the lead advocate for gun control on behalf of the administration.
“On behalf of the Sandy Hook parents, I would like to thank President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden,” said Mark Barden, father of a first-grader murdered in Newtown. “We will not be defeated. We are not defeated and we will not be defeated ….. I’d like to end by repeating the words by which the Sandy Hook promise begins: Our hearts are broken. Our spirit is not.”
He then introduced President Obama, who blasted away in a carefully calculated and calibrated assault on gunowners, Republicans, and all those with the temerity to disagree on his gun control proposals. Lashing out with more emotion than he has on any issue of his presidency, Obama played up to the cameras, all the while using gun violence victims as a backdrop.
Obama said that he had acted in response to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and Sandy Hook. “Families that had known unspeakable grief,” Obama said, reached out “to protect the lives of all children …. A few minutes ago, a minority in the Senate decided it wasn’t worth it.” Standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook has become rote for this president.
[...] All of this was setup for the coup de grace: a request for more power. Because, after all, Obama was never going to win this debate. He didn’t have the votes, he didn’t have the evidence, and he didn’t have a decent piece of legislation to propose. What he did have was unbridled faux moral indignation and a compliant press.
But he needs more. He needs a majority in the House. And he asked for it. “So all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington. But this effort is not over,” said Obama. “If this Congress refuses to listen … the real impact is going to have to come from the voters.”
“The memories of these children demand [gun control],” Obama concluded.
What he meant was obvious: the memories of dead children in Sandy Hook demands that voters give Obama more Senators and more Congresspeople. How convenient for him.
Neither Obama nor the media are interested in hearing from family members of gun violence victims who opposed his gun control scheme, such as this father from Newtown, and the father of 9-year-old Christina Green, who was shot and killed in the Tuscon attack.
They’re only interested in exploiting those grieving families they can use to forward their own political agenda.
Obama sent an envoy to Venezuela dictator Hugo Chavez’s funeral, but refuses to send anyone from his administration to honor Thatcher.
Why? Because a Socialist dictator like Chavez is an ideological ally, while a liberty-loving conservative like Thatcher is political enemy. That should tell you all you need to know about dark and dangerous Obama’s personal ideology truly is.
This is a deliberate, public slap in the face in front of the entire international community. Obama is a small, petty, dangerous man.
President Obama declined to send a high-level delegation to Wednesday’s funeral of Britain’s Margaret Thatcher. It’s a measure of how little he values the special relationship — and a sign of his own smallness.
Back in more gracious times, vice presidents routinely attended funerals of foreign dignitaries. As such, the presence of Vice President Joe Biden — if not Obama himself — would seem fitting for as significant a U.S. ally as the late Prime Minister Thatcher, if not out of warmth of feeling, then simply to represent the U.S.’ gratitude. Thatcher’s uncompromising friendship with the U.S. helped to set off a free-market revolution, end the Cold War, and left the U.S. and U.K. the standard-bearers for freedom in the world — the very basis of the power Obama now enjoys.
But appallingly, not even Biden could be spared for the funeral of the most consequential British prime minister since Winston Churchill.
[...] This snub shows Obama places partisan politics above leadership or statecraft.
Obama isn’t the only one deliberately insulting the memory of this great woman. The media is taking this opportunity to verbally burn her memory in effigy:
In the days leading up to Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, the three networks repeatedly hyped hateful, ugly attacks on the former Prime Minister of Britain, describing her as a “polarizing,” “divisive” figure. On Rock Center, his low-rated Friday night show, Brian Williams explained that it was “sad, but necessary to report” that, while Americans may like Thatcher, “It’s been a harsh couple of days …Tonight, the number one song on iTunes in Great Britain is the Wizard of Oz classic [Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead], in this case celebrating the death of the Iron Lady.”
On Sunday’s Today, Lester Holt began by insisting, “Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is proving to be as polarizing in death as she was in life.” He, too, highlighted angry liberals in Britain gleefully playing the mocking song. Leftist journalist Martin Bashir appeared on the program to bemoan the “controversial” Thatcher. He touted, “An online campaign has pushed the song Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead up towards the top of the British music charts.”
Bashir made sure to play a clip of a protester complaining, “I’m here to remember the victims, the victims of Margaret Thatcher and her society– her type of government.”
On Wednesday, CBS This Morning reporter Mark Phillips lectured, ”Well, this funeral was going to be a tense and controversial affair even before [the Boston bombing.]“ It was going to be “controversial’ to bury Thatcher, the woman elected three times in massive landslides?
On the April 17 Today, Keir Simmons reported live from the funeral route and deemed Thatcher a “divisive figure for many people in Britain.” He did allow that there were “many people here in the streets to pay their last respects.”
This last point, the massive outpouring of people who actually admired Thatcher, hasn’t received as much attention from the network reports.
Funny how Marxists don’t recognize your unalienable right to keep the fruits of your labor (especially if you happen to be more successful than they think you should be), but they claim that they have a “right” to demand free goodies at the expense of others.
Speaking outside on a sunny day, Harris-Perry says in an ad that aired Wednesday morning:
Americans will always want some level of inequality, because it’s a representation of meritocracy. People who work hard and sacrifice and save their money and make major contributions — we think that they should earn a little more. They should have more resources, and that’s fine. But we also, however, have to have a floor under which nobody falls. And if you’re below that — especially if you’re a child and you’re below that — we are not going to accept that. You do have the the right to health care, and to education, and to decent housing and to quality food at all times. [Emphasis added]
When something is a “right” (your life or conscience, for instance), it means you don’t have to do anything to earn it. You get to have it just for existing. It’s a gift from your Creator.
When you describe goods and services like food and housing as “rights,” you are saying that the people who produce these goods and services are obligated to provide them for you, whether you pay for them or not. There’s a word for this: slavery. Only slaves are forced to produce for others without compensation. TRUE rights come from God, and are unalienable. They cannot be provided by others, who could just as easily take them away.
You have an unalienable right to work and trade for goods and services. You do NOT have a “right” to demand them free of charge from others.
The Real Legacy of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Iron Lady
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So long, Maggie! Say “Hi” to Ronnie for us! You’ll be missed!
Mrs. Thatcher’s predecessor as prime minister, the amiable but forgotten Sunny Jim Callaghan, once confided to a friend of mine that he thought Britain’s decline was irreversible and that the government’s job was to manage it as gracefully as possible. By 1979, even this modest aim seemed beyond the capabilities of the British establishment, and the nation turned to a woman who was one of the few even in a supposedly “conservative” party not to subscribe to the Callaghan thesis. She reversed the decline, at home and overseas.
[S]he understood that the biggest threat to any viable future for Britain was a unionized public sector that had awarded itself a lifestyle it wasn’t willing to earn. So she picked a fight with it, and made sure she won. In the pre-Thatcher era, union leaders were household names, mainly because they were responsible for everything your household lacked. Britain’s system of government was summed up in the unlovely phrase “beer and sandwiches at Number Ten” — which meant union grandees showing up at Downing Street to discuss what it would take to persuade them not to go on strike, and being plied with the aforementioned refreshments by a prime minister reduced to the proprietor of a seedy pub, with the Cabinet as his barmaids.
In 1990, when Mrs. Thatcher was evicted from office by her ingrate party’s act of matricide, the difference she’d made was such that in all the political panel discussions on TV that evening no producer thought to invite any union leaders. No one knew their names anymore.
What Reagan and Thatcher showed–and it is a lesson that may seem at odds with the conservative impulse that the private sector is the most significant–is what a difference political leadership can make. (Later Rudolph Giuliani showed the same thing–he was for urban policy what Reagan and Thatcher were for national policy.) They both inherited a mess: In Thatcher’s case she took over in 1979 following the “Winter of Discontent” when Britain was paralyzed by multiple strikes and high unemployment. As the Conservative advertising slogan had it, “Labour isn’t working.” Reagan, of course, took over from Jimmy Carter in the wake of the failed hostage-rescue mission and in the midst of a severe recession characterized by “stagflation.” Worst of all was a widespread loss of confidence in the future–both in Britain and America it was fashionable back then to imagine that the “the West” was finished and that the Soviet Union was ascendant.
Reagan and Thatcher would have none of it. Both were firmly outside the political and intellectual mainstream, and both were derided as simpletons for imagining that they could reverse the course of history. But that is precisely what they did–Reagan with his tax cuts (helped by Fed chairman Paul Volcker’s anti-inflationary policy) and defense spending increases which, respectively, revived the economy and restored our military power; Thatcher with her income-tax cuts, budget cuts, interest-rate hikes and her willingness to stand up to the unions, all of which revived the British economy, and her willingness to fight Argentina for the Falkland Islands, which restored British confidence.
[...] Thatcher’s challenge was all the greater given that so much of the Conservative Party remained “wet”–i.e., skeptical of her conservative principles. Eventually it was not the political opposition but her own party which toppled her, leading to a long period of Conservative wandering in the wilderness, punctuated by uninspiring rule first by John Major and now by David Cameron, neither of whom will ever be mentioned in the same breath as the Iron Lady.
Like Reagan, Thatcher was vindicated by history–and just as Reagan was praised by Bill Clinton, so she was praised by Tony Blair. She will be remembered as the greatest female ruler since Queen Elizabeth I and the greatest British prime minister since Winston Churchill.
Common Core is a federal attempt to nationalize curriculum. We MUST oppose this, from every school board!
Critics of the Common Core State Standards had our fears confirmed on Monday when Education Week reported that the Department of Education will oversee the assessment test design for the new national standards. This is no April Fool’s joke: Washington will soon be directly regulating what America’s schoolchildren learn and on what they are tested. This massive expansion of federal power is concerning considering the federal government’s failed history of intervening in public education.
As I recently explained in AFP Foundation’s school choice policy report, the federal government has had its meddling hands in America’s public schools for decades. From the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to No Child Left Behind today, Congress has provided Title I federal funding to schools with low-income student bodies for the past half-century. But, this money is by no means free. As is often the case with federal funds, Title I comes with strings attached – which explains how Washington has been such a major player in American education despite the fact that public schools are function of the states.
[...] After decades of failed federal intervention in America’s public schools, Common Core’s similar approach of centrally planning public schools has worried education reformers since the initiative was launched in 2009. For years, proponents of the standards have tried to soothe these fears by emphasizing that they are not administered by the federal government. Common Core’s official website, for example, downplays the protests by claiming “[t]he federal government had no role in the development of the Common Core State Standards and will not have a role in their implementation.”
Perhaps this claim could hold water four years ago, but today it’s evident that Common Core is nothing more than a federal ruse to exert even greater control over America’s classrooms. [...]
[I]t looks like Common Core is poised to repeat and amplify the federal government’s failed educational interventions by giving the central government even greater control of what American schoolchildren are learning. If the success of school choice has taught us anything, it’s that education is most effective when controlled by actors on the local level, like teachers with freedom in how to teacher their students at charter schools, or parents with options of where to send their child to school through opportunity scholarships. Choice from the bottom, not force from the top, leads to effective learning.
This is one of the reasons why it is an incredibly dangerous conflict of interest for the government to be shaping the hearts and minds of future voters. Clearly, the Left wants the next generation of Americans to believe that they have no unalienable right to self-defense, from the government or anyone else. They start by indoctrinating the young.
The Left knows it’s better to apologize after the fact than ask for permission. The seeds of deception have already been planted in these kids’ minds. They’ll let the outrage settle down, and then try again. This is why parents should have the choice to send their children to a school that isn’t out to indoctrinate their kids!
The father of a Connecticut child is furious after discovering that his son’s school is teaching students that Americans don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms.
“I am appalled,” said Steven Boibeaux, of Bristol. “It sounds to me like they are trying to indoctrinate our kids.”
Boibeaux’s son is an eighth grader at Northeast Middle School. On Monday his social studies teacher gave students a worksheet titled, ‘The Second Amendment Today.’
“The courts have consistently determined that the Second Amendment does not ensure each individual the right to bear arms,” the worksheet states. “The courts have never found a law regulating the private ownership of weapons unconstitutional.
The worksheet, published by Instructional Fair, goes on to say that the Second Amendment is not incorporated against the states.
“This means that the rights of this amendment are not extended to the individual citizens of the states,” the worksheet reads. “So a person has no right to complain about a Second Amendment violation by state laws.”
According to the document, the Second Amendment “only provides the right of a state to keep an armed National Guard.”
Boibeaux said he discovered the worksheet as he was going over his son’s homework assignments.
“I’m more than a little upset about this,” he told Fox News. “It’s not up to the teacher to determine what the Constitution means.”
Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, called the lesson propaganda – that is “absolutely false.”
“In fact, the US Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment ensures the individual the right to bear arms,” Staver told Fox News. “The progressive interpretation of the Second Amendment is that it doesn’t give you the right to bear arms – that it’s a corporate right of the government – but that has been rejected by the Courts.”
The foundation for the housing crisis was laid with the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, where the government took it upon itself to encourage home ownership by pressuring banks to lend to lower-income buyers, often to meet arbitrary racial quotas. Obviously they haven’t learned a thing from where that got us.
Would it surprise anyone to learn that as a lawyer, Obama sued banks to force them to issue subprime loans? He also worked for ACORN, which specialized in using the Community Reinvestment Act to shake down banks and pressure them to loan money to low-income minorities or face “discrimination” charges.
According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is pushing big banks to make more home loans available to Americans with bad credit – the same kind of government guidance that helped blow up the housing market:
In response, administration officials say they are working to get banks to lend to a wider range of borrowers by taking advantage of taxpayer-backed programs — including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration — that insure home loans against default.
Housing officials are urging the Justice Department to provide assurances to banks, which have become increasingly cautious, that they will not face legal or financial recriminations if they make loans to riskier borrowers who meet government standards but later default.
Think about this statement. The administration is asking banks – banks that Washington bails out; banks that Washington crafts regulations for — to embrace risky policies that put the institution and its investors (not to mention, all of us) in a precarious position. So precarious, in fact, that banks have to ask government if they can be freed of any legal or financial consequences.
What could possibly go wrong?
These types of government policies initially emerged the mid-1970s, when “progressive” Democrats in Congress began a campaign to help low-income minorities become homeowners. This led to the passage, in 1977, of theCommunity Reinvestment Act (CRA), a mandate for banks to make special efforts to seek out and lend to borrowers of meager means. Founded on the premise that government intervention is necessary to counteract the fundamentally racist and inequitable nature of American society and the free market, the CRA was eventually transformed from an outreach effort into a strict quota system by the Clinton administration. Under the new arrangement, if a bank failed to meet its quota for loans to low-income minorities, it ran the risk of getting a low CRA rating from the FDIC. This, in turn, could derail the bank’s efforts to expand, relocate, merge, etc. From a practical standpoint, then, banks had no recourse but to drastically lower their standards on down-payments and underwriting, and to approve many loans even to borrowers with weak credit credentials. As Hoover Institution Fellow Thomas Sowell explains, this led to “skyrocketing rates of mortgage delinquencies and defaults,” and the rest is history.
The CRA was by no means the only mechanism designed by government to impose lending quotas on financial institutions. For instance, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) developed rules encouraging lenders to dramatically hike their loan-approval rates for minority applicants and began bringing legal actions against mortgage bankers who failed to do so, regardless of the reason. This, too, caused lenders to lower their down-payment and income requirements.
Moreover, HUD pressured the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest sources of housing finance in the United States, to earmark a steeply rising number of their own loans for low-income borrowers. Many of these were subprime mortgages—loans characterized by higher interest rates and less favorable terms in order to compensate lenders for the high credit risk they were incurring.
Additional pressure toward this end was applied by community organizations like the pro-socialist ACORN. By accusing banks—however frivolously or unjustly—of having engaged in racially discriminatory lending practices that violated the mandates of the CRA, these groups commonly sued banks toprevent them from expanding or merging as they wished. Barack Obama, ACORN’s staunch ally, was strongly in favor of this practice. Indeed, in a 1994 class-action lawsuit against Citibank, Obama represented ACORN in demanding more favorable terms for subprime homebuyer mortgages. After four years of being dragged through the mud, a beleaguered Citibank—anxious to put an end to the incessant smears (charging racism) that Obama and his fellow litigators were hurling in its direction (to say nothing of its mounting legal bills)—agreed to settle the case.
Forbes magazine puts it bluntly: “Obama has been a staunch supporter of the CRA throughout his public life.” In other words, he has long advocated the very policies that already have reduced the real-estate market to rubble. And now he is actively pushing those very same practices again.
The Senate voted earlier to block the U.S. from joining the treaty, but Obama is likely to sign it anyway.
He’s already heading out onto the never-ending campaign trail to stump for more gun control. He wants to stir up public pressure to force the Senate to ratify it. If they do, you can kiss your 2nd Amendment rights good-bye.
This morning, by a vote of 154 nations in favor (including the United States), 23 abstentions, and three against (Syria, North Korea, and Iran), the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). The treaty will be open for national signature on June 3, 2013, and will enter into force for its signatories when it has been signed and ratified by 50 nations.
Though the vote in favor of the treaty seems overwhelming, a closer look shows something different. Among the major exporting and importing nations, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, and Russia abstained. So did most of the Arab Group, as well as a range of anti-American regimes, including Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and a smattering of others, including Belarus, Burma, and Sri Lanka.
A further 13 nations did not vote, including some known opponents of the treaty, such as Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Finally, while Pakistan voted in favor of the treaty, its statement in explanation implied that it was voting for the treaty because it anticipated that India would abstain, and it wanted to look good by comparison.
Thus, what the U.N. vote amounts to is the tacit rejection of the treaty by most of the world’s most irresponsible arms exporters and anti-American dictatorships, who collectively amount to half of the world’s population.
Ken Klukowski warns, “What Americans Need To Know About The UN Gun Control Treaty“:
Today the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a global gun control treaty called the Arms Trade Treaty. Now the fight begins here at home. There are several things gun owners need to know to protect their constitutional rights.
Now that it’s been proposed, the treaty goes to all the member states to decide on whether to join. Per the U.S. Constitution, in America it must first be signed by the president (which it will), then be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate (which it won’t). The United States is not likely to join the treaty as a nation, though President Barack Obama will likely push for it.
The General Assembly can’t do anything at the United Nations except propose (not establish) treaties and admit new U.N. members. Most of the power at the U.N. is in the Security Council, which consists of five permanent members (including the U.S.) and ten rotating seats among all the other U.N. members. So the General Assembly did one of the only things it can by recommending this treaty to its member states.
However, the first danger is that U.S. courts have held we’re bound by “customary international law,” sometimes called the “law of nations.” If enough U.N. member states were to adopt this treaty, a liberal federal court could rule it has become customary international law. The current Supreme Court would never affirm such a ruling, but there is a real danger if Obama changes the balance of the Court over the next three years.
Because federal statutes and treaties are of equal force under the U.S. Constitution, whenever they are in direct conflict, the most-recently passed of the two prevails. So, if somehow this treaty were ratified by the Senate, if Congress were to later pass a statute taking the opposite position, it would trump the treaty.
Of course, you need a president’s signature to pass a statute or two-thirds of Congress to override a presidential veto, so we would need a president in 2016 who supports the Second Amendment to pass such a law.
[...] The dangers are obvious, however. If Barack Obama manages to get an anti-gun politician like Hillary Clinton or Andrew Cuomo to follow him in 2016 as president, and changes the balance of the Supreme Court over time, then the Arms Trade Treaty could open America up to a worldwide U.N. gun control regime. That could lay the groundwork and set up a system that a decade or two from now could restrict lawful firearm ownership in this nation.
If the goal is to save lives, liability insurance isn’t going to do it. But of course, this isn’t really about saving lives. It’s about control. It’s about putting up as many hurdles as they can think of between the average, law-abiding American and their right to self-defense.
A contingent of liberal Democrats in Congress is proposing a new federal gun control idea: mandatory liability insurance for gun owners.
When New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced the legislation last month with eight other Democrats, she boasted that it is “the first bill to require liability insurance of gun buyers nationwide.”
Maloney’s “Firearm Risk Protection Act” requires gun buyers to have “a qualified liability insurance policy” before they are able to legally purchase a firearm.
It also calls for the federal government to impose a fine as much as $10,000 if a gun owner doesn’t have insurance on a firearm purchased after the bill goes into effect.
Want to guess who this would hurt most? You got it: poor people living in dangerous neighborhoods, who would be barred from defending themselves due to the high cost of insurance.
The smart ones will go to the black market and arm themselves anyway.
Short answer: because if they acknowledge parents’ fundamental right to educate their children, they will have to recognize it for all parents here, as well.
Uwe and Hanna are home-school parents from Germany. But Germany doesn’t tolerate home schooling. Those who do are harassed, fined, imprisoned, and can lose custody of their children. Uwe and Hanna had such a religious and moral problem with what German government schools were teaching that they chose to school their children themselves, just as millions in this country do every day. But Germany’s laws, based upon a 1938 law signed by Adolph Hitler, believe that Germany’s children belong to the State from an educational standpoint. The law prohibits parents from educating their own children so that Germany can prevent a different worldview, or “society” as the law states, from arising.
After increased persecution from the German state, Uwe and Hanna fled to the United States. A Federal judge heard the arguments and granted them asylum, stating that Germany’s law and policy was “Nazi-esque”.
Immediately, the Obama Administration filed suit against the ruling and will bring the case before the United States Court of Appeal for the Sixth Court on April 23. They are seeking to deport the Romeike family, which would send Uwe and Hanna back to Germany to face jail and possibly the loss of their children.
Why does the administration seek to do this?
Because it agrees with the German law. It doesn’t believe that parents have a right to educate their children. It is more in line with the National Education Association that homeschooling shouldn’t be allowed. It believes that the government can best educate “America’s children”. It doesn’t want another worldview taught in this country. It wants America’s children to have one worldview and one worldview only.
That is why they don’t want to grant asylum to the Romeike family. That would affirm parental rights—rights that have been fought for by so many courageous parents over the last 40 years in this country. Rights that I believe will take a serious hit if this case is won by the Administration.
Think of it this way: if the Administration wins this case, the legal statement and precedence will be set that parents do not have a fundamental right to educate their children and if the State were to ban home schooling, it would not be a violation of parental rights at all.
NO ONE is exempt from the new federal power-grab over education, which is designed to force all states and schools to teach a government-approved (Marxist?) curriculum.
The CCSS removes education standards from the purview of state and local control to being controlled by unaccountable education policy experts sitting in a board room far removed from the parents, students, and teachers who are most critical to a child’s educational success.
Will the CCSS Affect Homeschools?
The CCSS specifically do not apply to private or homeschools, unless they receive government dollars (online charter school programs have no such protection). However, HSLDA has serious concerns with the rush to adopt the CCSS. HSLDA has fought national education standards for the past two decades. Why? National standards lead to national curriculum and national tests, and subsequent pressure on homeschool students to be taught from the same curricula.
The College Board—the entity that created the PSAT and SAT—has already indicated that its signature college entrance exam will be aligned with the CCSS. And many homeschoolers worry that colleges and universities may look askance at homeschool graduates who apply for admission if their highschool transcripts are not aligned with the CCSS.
The more that I read and study, the more convinced I am of the extreme detriment that the Common Core (CC) poses, not just to our children and our educational system – but to our country.
There are a few questions and comments that I have received this past week, some ranging from fear, and some from outright astonishment that I would even propose that CC presents a risk. I want to, as succintly as possible, answer some of these…
The Common Core is being introduced into the PUBLIC school, so if I’m homeschooling, I don’t need to worry, right?
WRONG. The CC is being adopted by 45 of the 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and it’s goal is NOT educational excellence. One look at the standards and examples that we detailed in our previous post will undeniably confirm that. The goal of Common Core is CONTROL. The government is seeking to Nationalize educational standards, which goes COMPLETELY against that 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which outlines education as being within the scope of the State government, not the Federal government. If the States decide not to adopt CC, they will not be granted federal dollars, so although it’s not a mandate, it’s a mob version of law via monetary coercion.
Furthermore, homeschoolers will eventually need to meet the same educational standard and use CC approved/aligned curricula because the SATs, State tests and GEDs will all be modified to fit the new CC standards.
But homeschoolers traditionally test higher in academics, so I’m not worried. My child will do fine on the tests.
Although it’s true that homeschoolers traditionally, on average, test significantly higher than their publicly educated peers, this is not a safeguard given what is coming down the pipeline in terms of change. Standardized testing is slated to be reformatted and rewritten, so we’re talking about a totally different measure of scope and sequence. For example, math problem, as formed by the CC, are based on mental and verbal math; the emphasis is now on the process, not the answer. Eventually, CC-educated students will be asked to verbally explain their method for solving the problem, regardless of whether or not the answer was correct. If your homeschooled Senior can successfully complete complex mathematical algorithms but he is unable to explain how he got his answer, he will not pass.
Additionally, the literature requirements are changing significantly. Non-fiction manuals are now required to compose 70% of your child’s “literature” by the time they graduate. Here is a sample of the suggested reading within the CC:
- Petroski, Henry. “The Evolution of the Grocery Bag.”
- California Invasive Plant Council. Invasive Plant Inventory
- Kurlansky, Mark. Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/U.S. Department of Energy. Recommended Levels of Insulation
- FedViews by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
- Calishain, Tara, and Rael Dornfest. Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching, 2nd Edition
- Fischetti, Mark. “Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.”
- U.S. General Services Administration. Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management
- Gawande, Atul. “The Cost Conundrum: Health Care Costs in McAllen, Texas.”
As enlightening as they may be, we’ll be tossing out “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “The Scarlet Letter” , Shakespeare and many other classics in lieu of “The Evolution Of The Grocery Bag”. Therefore, as homeschoolers, if we haven’t been reading the above list with our Seniors, they have no hope of passing the SATs or GEDs, because we’re talking about two completely different lists of topics and material.
But as a homeschooler, I get to choose my own curriculum, so it’s my decision what my children will read and study.
True, for now. However, I was disheartened to see that many large homeschool publishers have already, or are planning to, rewrite their curriculum in order to meet CC standards. For a very thorough and growing list, check out the curriculum updates on The Educational Freedom Coalition.