Parents Opt Out of Common Core State Standards *Printable*

Every parent concerned with their state implementing Common Core standards as it relates to federal dollars match to them should download this form, print, sign and forward to everyone you know. It is from Truth in American Education. Locally, FoundersIntent signed onto several press releases (click HERE to view letter to Luther Olsen, and HERE to view letter to members of the Republican Governors Assoc) to stone-walling state legislators that refuse to hold public hearings on the issue.

Since they won’t let us speak to them, we must try other measures. You may share any of the letters provided here by links with anyone you like.

 

Please make this go viral, as the video of THIS MAN has since last night. A father in Maryland stood up in a public education meeting designed to silence debate (you had to write your questions down, no discussion), and for doing so he was assaulted by a security officer, arrested and charged with assaulting the GUARD! Please stand up at every turn.

Sign the form. Share the video. Stand up. Speak out. Without you, liberty stands still.

 

FI staff.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you still cannot see the file above by left or right-clicking on the link, then please try this shockwave preview window below

Taking a Fist to a Gun Right? Another Sheriff the President Can’t Beat

By Ed Willing

In light of the recent buzz surrounding Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s radio PSA on gun safety and crime-prevention, other local sheriffs have been brought into the mainstream with their own opinions. While a few law enforcement officers are vociferously opposed to the PSA and have thrown partisan attack jabs at the Milwaukee Sheriff, most have been supportive. One such local Sheriff is three-time elected Daniel Trawicki, from neigborhing County, Waukesha.

On January 29th, he wrote an op-ed that was featured in the print edition of the Waukesha Freeman, a daily County newspaper. They feature the columns of many prominent, local leaders in the Conservative community. Below is one of the most reasonable and difficult-to-rebut cases for protecting the right to bear arms in a way that is normal, and wise. Not partisan, radical or dangerous. He joins Sheriff Clarke in trusting the people to be partners in crime prevention, tyranny deterring and safety-promotion. Here is the radio PSA Clarke put on the air last week:

Wisconsin is blessed to have a strong Conservative government that has observed open-carry for a long time, and recently passed sweeping concealed carry legislation. In a little over a year, 155,000 citizens have gone through certified safety courses, applied and received their concealed carry permits in the State of Wisconsin. From Governor Walker to Attorney General JB Van Hollen (who is registrant #1 on the list), the state has a strong hunting and personal protection legacy that shows how a government of the people can trust the people to govern themselves. The way the Founders intended.

_______________________________________________

 

By Daniel J. Trawicki Sheriff, Waukesha County, WI
From the print edition of the Waukesha Freeman

With the recent tragedies across America, our leaders in Washington are once again calling for stricter controls on firearms.

The obvious answer to senseless violence seems to be the restriction of firearms and access to specific types of guns, magazines and bullets. To many it’s a quick, easy and appropriate solution that will help protect our children, neighbors and friends.

There is, however a serious flaw in that logic. The idea that this simple solution will resolve society’s larger problems is ridiculous. everyone wants a clean, neat and tidy answer as to why we are killing each other, and there is none. No one wants to factor in the status of our health care system in general and the breakdown of mental healthcare in particular across the country. where do family values and the breakdown of family relationships and responsibility come into play? How about our children and young adults have access to over-the-top movies and video games that depict murder and mayhem as just another Saturday morning?

As our children experience difficulty in the classroom or social settings, the answer is to medicate away the problem. Depression, poor grades, anxiety and everything in between have a quick and clean remedy. Don’t focus on the root of the problem, rather take a pill and make the SYMPTOMS go away. No one could deny the outrage we all feel when another senseless killing occurs. And helpless victims are cut down in their prime. But are guns really to blame? National crime statistics show time and again that there are many other causes other than so-called assault rifles, and high capacity magazines that are responsible for the majority of deaths in the United States. A quick look at deaths in automobiles and specifically alcohol-related crashes makes us aware of how fragile life truly is. Yet I don’t see a national movement to outlaw motor vehicles or alcohol.

Many feel that outlawing certain guns and components is a quick and easy solution to a long and complicated problem. I do not follow, nor agree with that line of thinking. Some may think that proposals recently outlined by the President are logical initiatives to combat a national crisis. Others, including myself, feel that they are direct attacks on the constitutional rights and freedoms our Founding Fathers strived so hard to maintain. Our opponents ridicule the second amendment to the Constitution, as never intending to protect what we currently have. They argue that language about a well-armed militia and protection from the government is too broad and misunderstood. I argue just the opposite. That is exactly the type of behavior we are to be protected from, and at least for now, the Supreme Court of the United States of America agrees with me.

One thing we know for sure: with all his faults, President Obama has done more to spur growth and stimulate the economy than any other President in recent times. Since releasing his firearms initiative, sales of firearms and ammunition are at all-time highs. Dealers cannot keep inventory in stock, and business is brisk.

I recently attended the Waukesha gun show with my daughter. What a novel idea – involve your children in healthy family-oriented events like the shooting sports, and hunting. While we were there along with thousands of other enthusiasts I was struck by the passion and dedication of our sporting community. As a law enforcement officer of 34 years, and elected Sheriff three times of Waukesha County, I can tell you that I have no fear of law-abiding citizens carrying weapons, concealed or any other way. It’s those individuals that possess weapons illegally that pose the greatest threat to our community.

While I was at the gun show I was reminded of the role the National Rifle Association has played in defending our freedoms to keep and bear arms. Just like Safari Club is the number one organization to protect your right to hunt, the NRA has been the torch-bearer for our gun rights. I have to admit that personally, I have been and on-and-off-again member of the NRA. No excuses… I believe in the organization and what they stand for. It just seems I have been forgetful in renewing my membership.

I recently heard that since our good President has rolled out his master plan to protect us from ourselves, membership in the NRA has gone up by 100,000. The number of new memberships is now at least 100,001. While at the show I made it a point to not only renew my membership, but become a life-member. No more forgetting or timely excuses for me. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I believe in the Constitution of the United States, and I believe in the people of this great Country.

If you believe the same, I suggest you become new member 100,002.

You may reach the Sheriff @ sheriff@waukeshacounty.gov | Phone: 262-548
-7126

Pursue Conservative Health Care Reform: Fighting Predatory Federalism

By Ed Willing

Since the Supreme Court’s infamous 4-1-4 ruling on the Affordable Care Act in June, nearly two dozen states have grappled with whether or not to comply with the first of many forthcoming deadlines found in the rules written (and still being written) by the functionally unconstitutional entity known as the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

November 16th is the deadline, and a flurry of letters are finding their way to Kathleen Sebelius’ desk this afternoon telling her they will not comply with the requirement to set up an exchange. The great debate has been over the enticement written into the law:

  • Either states create the exchanges, and the Feds will not only pay for the administrative costs but also the cost increases of expanding Medicare and Medicaid, or…
  • The Federal government will set one up for them and not give states the authority to direct their exchanges. Continue reading

Follow the [European] Leader?

By Monica Frede

 

Last week, many pundits commented on the New York Times op-ed that vindicated Sarah Palin’s infamous “death panels” that drew scrutiny from Democrats and moderate Republicans during the ObamaCare debates of 2009.

See, Republicans boasted, she was right all along! Even the New York Times admits that there will be rationing. Yes, Steven Rattner did write in his op-ed that “unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently—rationing, by its proper name—the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.” Yes, Rattner did write that “elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical.” And yes, he also stated that families that try every available treatment option to extend or improve the life of their elderly relatives are “an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear.” Continue reading

Beyond the Surface: Spending and Deficits, Congressional Year Breakdown

By Kim Lewandowski

In 2007, the Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.

For those who are listening to the fallacy that everything is “Bush’s Fault”, think about this: On January 3, 2007, the day the Democrats took control of Congress, the DOW Jones Industrial Average value was, at closing January 5, 2007: 12,398.01. Since then, from June 20, 2008 to January 28, 2011 it went well below 12,000 (as far down as 6,626.94 on March 6, 2009).  It is finally showing some signs of recovery, but even the current Dow is inflated by virtually free money and the cash-printing of the Fed.

The GDP: For the last quarter of 2006 was 3.5%. And for the first quarter of 2012 is 2.2%.

The Unemployment rate:  Was 4.6% in January of 2007, and at 8.1% currently.  Please note that an undetermined number of unemployed people that have used up all unemployment benefits and continue to be unemployed IS NOT counted in this percentage as it only counts those on the unemployment compensation rolls.

Debt:  Is shown in the table below for each President and who controls Congress.  And ahead of predictions, total national debt reached 100% of the GDP by the third quarter of 2011.  If counted using the total public debt outstanding over the annual GDP in chained 2005 dollars, the ratio reached 115% on Feb. 2012.

People complain about exploding deficits under George W. Bush, and some of this consternation is well-founded with his increased spending every year, often at a greater pace than his predecessor. However, his economic policies led to even greater increases in tax revenue per economic dollar created. President Bush demonstrated that letting people keep more of their own money leads to economic growth.  In 2001, America was experiencing the unprecedented triple shock of a recession following the dot-com bust, economic disruption due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, and corporate accounting scandals.  Fortunately, the country was able to overcome these challenges, in part because President Bush’s tax relief put more money in families’ pockets and encouraged businesses to grow and invest.  Following the President’s 2003 tax relief, the United States had 52 months of uninterrupted job growth, the longest run on record” per the White House.gov archives site.

As another example:  Based on that historical record from the National Bureau of Economic Research, we should be in the third year of an economic recovery boom right now. That is what we experienced under Reagan, which was the last time we recovered from a recession of similar magnitude.  In September 1983, the Reagan recovery, less than a year after it began, created 1.1 million jobs in that one month alone compared to Obama’s 230,000. In the second year of the Reagan recovery, real economic growth boomed by 6.8%, the highest in 50 years.

But back to our current issues:  Clinton shares at least some of the blame for the current financial chaos. He beefed up the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act to force mortgage lenders to relax their rules to allow more socially disadvantaged borrowers to qualify for home loans. In 1999 Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which ensured a complete separation between commercial banks, which accept deposits, and investment banks, which invest and take risks. The move prompted the era of the superbank and primed the sub-prime pump. The year before the repeal sub-prime loans were just 5% of all mortgage lending. By the time the credit crunch blew up it was approaching 30%.  In 2003, the Bush administration tried to stop the runaway train of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. Democrats alone didn’t stop this. No one filibustered the Bush administration’s bill in the Senate; it didn’t have the votes to pass. Likewise in 2006, when Chuck Hagel, John McCain, John Sununu, and Elizabeth Dole attempted to fix Fannie and Freddie, Republicans controlled Congress and did nothing to pass this bill. Democrats blocked it, but had there been some help from Republicans, both efforts would have passed easily.  This is not just a Democratic or a Republican party problem at this point.

January 3rd, 2007 was the day Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.  The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in those same areas of the economy…BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES which were weakened by Clinton’s actions mentioned above and mismanaged.

THANK YOU for dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!  BTW: Bush attempted to control and reign in Fannie & because it was financially risky for the US economy. Barney blocked it and called it a “Chicken Little Philosophy” (but…the sky did fall!) and the Republicans in congress followed his lead.  Why?  Because both parties were getting money from Freddie and Fannie.  You can look at this table at this site to see the total contributions made to each member….which, strangely enough, Obama had the second largest contributions (just under C. Dodd)….

The last balanced budget was in 2001 in the 106th congress controlled by Republicans. In that first year of Bush’s administration, Congress had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending when he, somewhat belatedly, got tough on spending increases. Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009, as well as 2010 & 2011. Obama has now gone 1,000 days without a budget, and is still blaming it on the minority Party for most of the last 6 years.

For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed Lame Duck President George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budget.

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of those massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009. Let’s remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself and a Democratic Congress.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is: “I inherited a deficit that I voted for, and then I expanded that deficit four-fold since January 20th 2009.”

“The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.”

To remind you:  All financial matters are initiated by the House.  Here is the breakdown of who controlled which areas of Congress and for what years for each President.

A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT is the most sensical, most accountable method of reining in runaway spending. While the Founders never included such a provision, they didn’t think it was necessary with the limitations on revenue channels and the foundation of Federalism. Since the 16th and 17th Amendments, the Constitutional system we had has been perverted enough to create an almost insurmountable imbalance that can only be corrected with Constitutional limitations on borrowing and spending on the federal level. The first attempt at a BBA was in 1936, in the midst of a massive socialistic transformation in our Federal Government. On May 4, 1936, Representative Harold Knutson (R-Minnesota) introduced House Joint Resolution 579, resolution in support of a Constitutional Amendment that would have placed a per capita ceiling on the federal debt in peacetime. Clearly, it never saw the light of day. Two Democrats, Thomas Perriello (D-WV) and Sen. Udall (D-CO) have both proposed their own versions, along with a more recent initiative by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). We need grassroots help to make this a major initiative in the coming years, or our children may literally not have an American Dream of which to pursue, let alone achieve.

Peruse the Americans For A Balanced Budget Amendment site, and join our contact list here, to become part of the movement to restore fiscal sanity to the American Federal Government.

Class (Civil) Warfare

By Monica Frede

The only class the Elite Left despises is the wealthy elite they don’t control.

The rich. The target of the left. The fat cats, Wall Street, greedy, old white men who laugh in the face of hungry children and scheme behind closed doors with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to split commissions on the next big tax break. The trust-fund babies who didn’t build that; the heartless no-gooders who refuse to give to charitable organizations that won’t benefit their own coffers. The CEOs who only care about making a profit rather than hire hard-working single mothers.

Thank goodness for Democrats. For without their audacity and shining example of words, not deeds, we would be led off the cliff like a pack of possessed pigs. Because of the hard-working liberal media, professors and politicians, we know the truth. Money is not earned, it is taken; the 1% are not charitable, moral people, but rather a greedy, destructive force. We should be thankful we have the 1% to take on the 1%.

This diatribe worked in 2008, but a lot has happened in the last four years. Well, TRILLIONS have happened. “You didn’t build that,” the “Buffett rule,” the failed stimulus, a phone call to Sandra Fluke, the “Camedon police acted stupidly,” Obama’s one-term proposition, and of course, the daily “I inherited this mess” conjugation. Impressive resume.

Thank goodness for Obama. For without his occasional honesty-when-sans-teleprompter, the Tea Party would not have established its platform. Less government intrusion. Lower taxes. Traditional values. Responsible, honest governance.

How radical.

I believe that there is no greater teacher than experience. And with an unemployment rate that has hovered at or above 8% for over three years and families’ median net worth falling 40% between 2007 and 2010, people are willing to learn from their mistakes. The 2012 presidential election is a chance to cleanse the palate, and the liberal’s tired tirade against the rich won’t work.

Government is personal. We see the government in our daily lives: when we go to the DMV for emissions testing, when we pay sales tax at the mall, when we pay an extra dollar for a pound of ground beef at the grocery store, when we want to install a fence to block the view of our neighbor’s fake deer and flamingo lawn decorations. And nothing is more personal than our income. With a president who is more concerned with Warren Buffett’s tax rate than the trillions of dollars of debt he has amassed in his first term, we take notice.

Do I really care that Warren Buffett has side-stepped the tax code himself and with his holding company Berkshire, when social security is bankrupt? Am I supposed to be angry that those whose gross income is $1 million or higher only pay a 24.6% tax rate while ObamaCare threatens to push me into a poorly-managed, government-run Medicaid? Or why should I be concerned about Romney’s silver spoon when President Obama has golfed over 100 rounds since taking the oath of office, yet has not met with his jobs council in 6 months?

The ads will be merciless in the coming weeks. The “tax the rich” distractions and the allusions that Romney is trying to buy the election will be leading off the cable news segments each evening. Liberals want to reelect Obama on the promise that they will soak the rich—those evil, greedy individuals who are laughing while the economy implodes on children without healthcare or a next meal.

But they miscalculate how smart we are. No, we didn’t graduate from Harvard, but we do work for a living. We participate in the exchange of goods and services on a daily basis, which teaches more about how the economy operates than all the graduate classes at NYU. We pay our taxes. We learn by experience. And experience tells us to pay more attention to the left hand when the right hand is pointed at the wealthy.

The left hand is wealthy itself, you know. The top 3 wealthiest Americans are Democrats (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison), and “an analysis of the Top 20 Richest People in America (from Forbes Top 100) reveals that a full 60% are actually Democrats.” And peruse the average net worth of the 25 richest congressmen (think hundreds of millions of dollars) to get a taste of the humble existence of those who want to soak the rich. For every Koch Brother on the libertarian Right, there are two David Bondermans and John Doerrs on the left who consider “philanthropy” to be writing checks for non-profit, politically influence groups. (Note: George Soros is merely a parenthetical mention in a sea of billionaire progressives.)

This election is not about voting for the man who promotes fairness. This election is about men and women who demand honesty from their representatives. One rich man pointing at another leaves little for Middle America except the realization that the rich aren’t the problem at all—the government is the problem. Wealth is neither intrinsically good nor evil. It’s what you do with it that determines merit.

The congressmen, senators and the president have become far more influential in our daily lives than the wealthiest private citizens, and we have taken notice. We have drawn a line in the sand. We have validated their merit.

Nothing on the teleprompter can ease unemployment or fix social security, but my vote can. Change from the top down doesn’t just refer to economics, Mr. President.

The Government DIDN’T Build THAT!

By Ed Willing

 

SUCCESS STORIES OF GOVERNMENT “INVESTMENT”:

Solyndra – Founded in 2005; received $528 million in government subsidies in 2009.
Result: Bankrupt in 2011. The Chinese and others made solar panels better and cheaper.  

Samuel Langley – Tried to build first airplane in history. In 1900, U.S. government funded two flight attempts.
Result: Both times, Langley crashed his plane into the Potomac River. Shortly thereafter, the Wright brothers flew a plane with their own money.

Union Pacific Railroad – Founded in early 1860s with government money to build part of a transcontinental railroad.
Result: Bankrupt, and some officers of the railroad convicted of bribing Congressmen. JJ Hill and The Great Northern Railroad then built a transcontinental railroad with no corruption and no federal subsidies.

Edward Collins Steamship Company – Founded in 1840s to go from New York to England, and also received government subsidies in 1840s and 1850s.
Result: Bankrupt in 1858. Cornelius Vanderbilt successfully built ships to go from New York to England with no subsidies.

Government operated fur company – Founded in 1795 with federal money to compete with the British.
Result: Near bankruptcy, and shut down in 1822. John Jacob Astor built the American Fur Company in 1808 and flourished with no federal subsidies.

___________________________________________________

“If you’ve got a business–you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

President Obama had some words for small business owners last week, reminding them that without Government subsidization, infrastructure, education dollars and loans, they would have never existed. Paternal dependence is the new economic bubble. Don’t you forget it.

The president suggested all business owners striking out on their own and fulfilling the American Dream are beholden to teachers, road-builders, bridge-builders, and other government workers. His reasoning of course, is to lead us to believing the wealthiest 1%, which now pays 38% of all income taxes, should pay even more.

By contrast, Mitt Romney stopped in Bowling Green, Ohio and spoke about the President’s words, and discussed the virtues of economic liberty and the dangers of government meddling in free markets. He then asked small business owners to stand. The crowd, without any cue, broke into spontaneous applause as Romney shouted “Thank you! Thank you!”

Which vision of America, and perspective of America’s most productive people do YOU want in a President? While Mitt Romney does not exactly embody traditional Conservative or Libertarian principles, and is more of a Rockefeller Republican than a Coolidge Constitutionalist, he certainly knows the meme a nation needs to pull itself out of the deepest and longest recession in its history. Praising the producers as well as the laborors as ONE CLASS of Americans is not just shrewd politics, but also distinctly American. The Founders would have been clapping with everyone else.

While we have much gratitude to share with our parents, LOCAL teachers, friends and business partners, we have very little obligation to position our ever-benevolent Government at the top of the credit list for our personal accomplishments. The audacity of the mindset is breathtaking.

Everything the Government touches languishes. Great ideas go to government programs to catatonically survive until a better idea comes along to make it an enterprise or industry. Brilliant minds are capable of big dreams when they enter a government institution, but soon fall into an undead state of think-tank do-nothingness and check-writing.

The Pentagon created a technology: the communication of computers, for its own security and efficiency. It took 20 years before businesses like Microsoft, Apple, IBM and AOL made the internet a commercial reality.

NASA landed on the moon and made space travel a reality, but we are now seeing the costs of this industry radically drop as entrepreneurs are finding ways to build rockets and capsules without $20,000 O-rings and $500 bolts. Tickets to space are predicted by the end of the decade.

Even the Federal Government’s foray into modical care for seamen of the late 18th century fell into terrible quality and cost issues that plague the industry to this day. The best and most creative, affordable care is penalized with regulations that make it difficult for the free market to make health care truly competitive and transparent.

THE FOUNDERS’ INTENT AND WISDOM: LEARNING FROM OTHERS’ MISTAKES

The federal government was designed by the Founders to protect the general welfare, not to facilitate its economic health. The concept of paternal government care, democracy, republicanism or managed economic markets were nothing new last century, or in theirs. In fact, the Founders, namely John Adams and Alexander Hamilton knew better than most the history of governments of old and what worked and what didn’t. They knew every great idea had failed eventually, and they determined to build a system that would balance itself when one part became imbalanced. The result would be vibrant, long term growth, economic wealth and what they perceived as the greatest of all, individual liberty.

They certainly accomplished just that. What’s amazing is that despite wars, mass immigration, rapid industrialization and a cultural melting pot, Americans succeeded because of the principles set in place by our Founders. These principles were very simple, and will never be out-dated:

Property – What you earn or buy is yours and cannot be confiscated without your consent

Protection - You have the right to protect your family and possessions by any means necessary

Rule of Law - A nation without laws is a breeding ground for anarchy. Equitable and fair justice by your peers

Personal Responsibility - Human nature is flawed, and altering the realities of failure or success kills responsibility

Limited Government - Because human nature is flawed, government is inherently at war with indivdual liberty. Limiting government, and keeping it as local as possible, minimizes the allure of power on the front end and limits the damage of corruption on the back end.

Republicanism - Pure Democracy has always led to anarchy and tyranny. Every time. Republican representation provides a protection between minorities and majorities, and a buffer between timely wisdom and emotional mobacracy.

When the Federal Government involves itself with subsidization, it alters these principles by perverting reality.

Property is no longer yours, it was given to you by the collective. Protection is no longer a right, because others have a stake in your estate. Rule of Law is questionable, because laws are altered to maintain the perverted relationship, or altogether ignored. Personal Responsibility is lost because success is never truly earned and appreciated, and failure is never truly feared, or learned from. Limited Government is impossible when it receives the power of the purse like a carrot and horse. It will naturally grow, manipulate and perpetuate its existence until it is much larger than intended even by those who enjoy utilizing it. Finally, Republics die when they focus on manipulating the masses they care for, rather than allowing the people to determine their own local fate.

The President was right, no one is an island. But the Government is certainly not an oasis. It infects, it corrupts and it controls. Even in the hands of good men, government is a dangerous tool and a tempting weapon. So the President was wrong, Government is not the answer. A free community is.

SUBSIDIES OF ANY KIND ARE TROJAN BENEFITS

Texan farmers wanted government assistance in 1887, but President Cleveland vetoed the bill and warned they stand to lose their liberty if they’re willing to sacrifice for security. 50 years later, farmers wanted help, so President Roosevelt attacked an Ohio farmer for growing wheat on his land during the Great Depression, for his own consumption. They ordered his wheat destroyed and charged him a debilitating fine claiming he was manipulating market prices by not buying wheat on the open market.

Conservative, self-reliant men and women still rely on family, friends, neighbors and local government for their success, but not without the Founding Principles being in place. Government exists to protect and execute the rule of law, not to manage the nature its intended to limit.

Henry Ford once said, “Money doesn’t change men, it merely unmasks them.” When you centralize that dangerous reality, you include everyone in the misery of human nature in the name of saving us from it.

Americans everywhere, in construction industries, local schools, entertainment, news, technology, research, manufacturing and services must learn from history that while rejecting government support makes their dreams riskier, the liberty they’ll retain with their coming riches are a far greater reward than the harsh reset failure occasionally forces us to tolerate.

Economic Development groups, School Boards, Research Facilities… seek your success among the private sector and loosen yourself from the chains of Government money; build yourself with those around you, not the government, or you’ll end up the footnote in history, rather than the headline.

Just ask Edward Collins. Who? Exactly.

 

A (Pesky) Constitution

By Monica Frede

It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers….

– Calvin Coolidge, “The Inspiration of the Declaration”

 

 

This week, the President warned the justices, which he called an “unelected group of people,” not to take the “unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” His Affordable Care Act, and the Solicitor General charged with defending the 2,700-page law, have received less than amiable critiques of its contents. The justices sought clarity, at one point questioning whether the government could create commerce in order to regulate it.

But Mr. Obama believes that the legislative branch, the proud authors of the law, received majority support from Americans. After all, who doesn’t want health insurance? That in itself is reason to implement the law. (Just think where this trail of logic could lead.) Let’s say the healthcare law did receive majority support—which clearly it has not— but regardless, if it did, would this be archetypal and consistent with the legislative’s characteristics?

Hardly. Our government has a long record of creating programs and enforcing laws on its citizens that those same citizens never voted for. Little by little, election by election, the legislature has intentionally tightened its grip on liberty’s throat in an effort to eventually see it collapse to the ground, lifeless and suffocated.

Exaggeration? Consider that 40,000 new laws went into effect January 1, 2012, and as MSNBC reports, the laws range from “getting abortions in New Hampshire, learning about gays and lesbians in California, getting jobs in Alabama and even driving golf carts in Georgia.” California enacted many laws on January 1, including the California Booster Seat law, which outlaws parents, guardians or drivers from transporting any child under 8 years old without securing that child in an appropriate child restraint meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards. They also established the California Gay History Law, which mandates that school textbooks and social studies include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender accomplishments.

With 40,000 new laws implemented—equal to 109 laws each and every day this year—I would like to know how the American people keep track. How is it possible to remain aware and conversant of what our government is doing?

Progressives support the recent advancements of government authority and oversight. They believe history tells of an oppressive, abusive and backwards society. They are fighting for something different— the Occupy movement, the labor movement, Code Pink, and their cohorts. There is a reason the Declaration of Independence is only 1,337 words in length and the Constitution is only 4,543 words: government was not created to regulate a man’s life. The government of the United States was created to be transparent—allow the individual to look through its guiding principles that affirms liberty, and in turn, supplies innovation.

But the President has established a limit on the government. He does not want the judicial branch of government untethered, like a child let loose inside an art museum with finger paints. No, he needs the Supreme Court wearing a monkey backpack, clipped around its waist, and a leash extending from the monkey tail straight to Obama’s wrist. Given the negative commentary presented by the justices during the Healthcare hearings, he has reason to be concerned. The high court may do what its long history has often done—check and balance.

But he was a Constitutional law professor, so maybe his recent comments about the high court are a matter of semantics: the democratically elected Congress that represents the will of the majority.

In January, Mr. Obama bypassed the confirmation process for several appointees of federal positions, ignoring the Senate’s role to provide advice and consent on presidential appointments. Obama made four recess appointments, even though the Senate was not on recess, while Senate Republicans used filibusters to try and block nearly 200 other agency nominations proposed by Obama.

More recently, Obama’s administration mandated that health insurance include coverage for contraceptives which applies to religious institutions, such as Roman Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies. Kathleen Sibelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said the mandate would guarantee women access to contraceptives “while accommodating religious liberty interests.” But for Obama, much to the chagrin of the Catholic Church (and all those religious Americans).

And then we have the budget. That pesky balance sheet that asks the federal government to track the money coming in and the money going out. Obama and the Senate Democrats have passed the 1,000-day mark without passing a budget. Last week Obama’s own $3.6 trillion budget proposal was shot down without one vote in favor—clearly a case of the right hand knowing what the left is doing (with all of us somewhere in the middle).

Clearly the President is not concerned with what the strong majority wants; but he is very interested in what he believes the strong majority wants. Since he was elected, he appoints his staff and he criticizes the role of the Supreme Court, he knows best. But a philosopher who influenced our Founding Fathers, Algernon Sidney, recognized what grave mistake awaits people who place their trust in elected officials:

“..And as ’tis folly to suppose that princes will always be wise, just and good, when we know that few have been able alone to bear the weight of a government, or to resist the temptations to ill, that accompany an unlimited power, it would be madness to presume they will for the future be free from infirmities and vices….”

– Algernon Sidney, “Discourses Concerning Government”

We can’t expect those who we elect to make the right decisions. We can’t expect that they will not become drunk with power and abuse their authority. And we are not supposed to. Which again is why the Constitution is only 4,543 words long. It was not written in order to describe the can’s and cannot’s of a man’s life; the length of the Constitution is a symbolic representation of the way our society should operate: less government is more— more liberty, more creativity, and more opportunities.

Aristotle, another influencer of our Founding Fathers, wrote,

“For the beginning seems to be more than half of the whole, and many of the things that are inquired after become illuminated along with it”

Nicomachean Ethics

Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution represent more than half of our whole— our past, our present, and as we return to its original meaning, a future illuminated.

Today we can witness the results of a government that operates by the consent of the governed. No other government in the world’s history has a greater influence on the advancement of civilization than what began in 1776. The fact that America’s charitable giving is the third largest economy in the world is proof enough that the establishment of our Constitutional Republic allows the most prosperity and charity, the most innovation and economic stability, and the most justice and protection. The American experiment worked. Those who say otherwise only want to ignore what has been done and replace it with another system— the one of Obama’s dreams.

No oppressed people will fight, and endure, as our fathers did, without the promise of something better, than a mere change of masters. (Abraham Lincoln, Fragment on the Constitution and the Union)

An Anniversary and A Funeral: ObamaCare

By Monica Frede

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave a celebratory speech to Congress on Wednesday, the same week as the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Health Care Act, evoking the core principles of the Declaration of Independence— life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. She could hardly contain her glee:

 

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is exactly what the Affordable Health Care Act helps to guarantee. A healthier life, the liberty to pursue happiness, free of the constraints that a lack of health care might provide to a family. If you want to be a photographer, a writer, an artist, a musician, you can do so. If you want to start a business, if you want to change jobs, under the Affordable Care Act, you have that liberty to pursue your happiness. And that is why I am so pleased that this week we can celebrate the two year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

Time to start the party.

If you want to pursue your dream career, change your job, or start your own business, the government is here to say you can do so! (Imagine the commemoratory events planned in offices around the country this week: colorful streamers falling from drop ceiling tiles, balloons strung from fire sprinkler heads and Obama’s glowing smile supplanted on “Happy Birthday” sheet cakes.)

I have another idea of what could help those Americans trapped in dead-end jobs, shackled with their inevitable pursuit of depression: capital. Anyone who wants to start their own business needs capital. Why not create a law that anyone who writes a persuasive letter to the federal government, expressing their heartfelt plea for the funds needed to cover start-up costs such as three years of salary, equipment costs and legal fees, will receive a check in the mail? Mrs. Pelosi certainly would support that idea. After all, having sufficient capital to start your own business is the very definition of pursuing happiness.

Although we have many Americans who do not want to be small business owners, their letter would look slightly different. “I have not been on a family vacation in two years, and my kids really want to meet Goofy at Disney World. Can you send a check for $3,000?”

Critics quickly poke holes in my suggestions: but we’re not talking about free vacations; we are talking about providing health care. Health care saves lives. And that provides all Americans life, liberty and the ability to pursue happiness.

Is that so? To what end?

Daniel Webster (1782-1852), a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts, as well as a U.S. Congressman and U.S. Secretary of State, presented a testimony before the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention in 1840, persuasively arguing for the people’s rights to establish qualifications for their elected officials. Early in his testimony Webster said, “No man can be said to have a right to that which others may withhold from him at pleasure.”

That statement, another harbinger for our times, like so many of our Founding Fathers’ words, rebukes our modern-day governmental philosophy that more is better and much more is best. The temptation of holding office coincides with the temptation to trade handouts for reelection. Webster continued:

There may be among legislators strong passions and bad passions. There may be party heats and personal bitterness. But legislation is in its nature general: laws usually affect the whole society; and if mischievous or unjust, the whole society is alarmed and seeks their repeal. The judiciary power, on the other hand, acts directly on individuals. The injured may suffer without sympathy or the hope of redress.

Nancy Pelosi and her counterparts grossly augment their realm of legislative authority by extending “the pursuit of happiness” to include health care coverage. Again, no citizen is denied health care when needed. But that same citizen is required, by law, to pay for services rendered. But the damaging ramifications of the Affordable Health Care Act “benefit” only a portion of the public, rather than protect the general welfare of the whole.

(What better protects the general welfare of the whole than removing government from health insurance? Just look to the housing market as our “lesson learned.”)

Additionally, handing out checks to entrepreneurs does not benefit the whole. The same can be said for food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, unemployment insurance, child tax credits, Earned Income Tax Credit, student loans and government-subsidized housing.

No limits exist on the government’s ability to grant a benefit, cloaked in the right to pursue happiness, so long as the government denies the spirit of the Constitution and their limited legislative powers. And no elected official can pervert their legislative ability amongst a society that seeks their repeal.

Like Webster asserted to his Convention, “If he dislikes the condition, he may decline the office in like manner as if he dislikes the salary, the rank, or any thing else which the law attaches to it.” And if he chooses not to decline, we the people can remove. Because we are the government.

Happy Anniversary.

 

Immigration, and the “Boomerang” of State’s Rights

By Yomi Faparusi Sr., Esq., MD, PhD

One of the most significant issues of our day, and a virtual fourth rail in politics is immigration reform. Immigration is regulated under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) created in 1952 by the McCarran-Walter bill, Public Law No. 82-414.[1] Hence, it suffices to say that immigration is a federal issue and as such it would appear that States have no authority – or, colloquially speaking – no business legislating in this domain.

IMMIGRATION IS REGULATED BY FEDERAL LAW, BUT…

The question arises: is the preceding statement wholly factual, especially when the Federal Government has chosen to take a lackadaisical posture in enforcing the immigration laws in the books? If that indeed was the case, that the states had no enforceable interest, you would not be reading an article on the tenth Amendment and immigration here. We DO have a problem. It is not far-fetched to say that the Federal Government has constructively abdicated this duty to the States, by its lukewarm approach to immigration enforcement – often, for political reasons. Arizona, Alabama and Ohio are just a few of the states moving to enforce laws already in place, but completely ignored by those elected and appointed to enforce them.

 

THE LANDLORD AND TENANT ANALOGY

Imagine a tenant informing a landlord repeatedly that the roof of his home or apartment is leaking and that the tenant stands the risk of losing valuable property if the leak continues. The landlord is a corporate management entity with its headquarters in another state and made promises that it would fix the leak whereas the landlord has not acted on its promises despite the tenant’s desperate pleas. At the same time, the leak is getting bigger and still there is no effective response. The tenant takes the reasonable step of fixing the leak and notifies the landlord. The tenant expects reimbursement for the repairs but instead the landlord sues the tenant.

Such is the standoff today in Federal vs. State immigration enforcement.

Lately, the relationship between the Federal Government and some border states is like that of a Landlord (Federal Government) and the Tenant (States) described above. Many states along the border of the United States and Mexico have been left exposed to the consequences of a porous border and a Federal Government trying to decouple border security from immigration. It is not news that we have witnessed crime spilling across the border due to the drug wars and increasing the crime rates in the towns adjacent to the border. If there is going to be true immigration reform, it starts with securing the border.

UNDERSTANDING THE POLITICS OF THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE

The recent GOP presidential debates have witnessed testy exchanges on the issue of immigration especially with regards to what to do with the millions that are in the United States illegally. As politically-juicy as the candidates’ answers may be and as energizing as it has been rallying some groups of conservatives, debating how to handle these millions is essentially putting the cart before the horse. It can merely approximate an abstract endeavor, when the fundamental problem of securing the border has not first been addressed. Securing it has become the primary issue today because, in addition to its correlation with illegal immigration, it is a gauge of our homeland security as a whole. What stops a terrorist from entering the United States through our porous borders? Right now, random checks and searches is all.

As conservatives who appreciate and empathize with the burden placed on our fellow citizens along the Border States, we should be pressing our candidates about sealing the border. More emphasis should be put on the details of their plans as opposed to mere rhetorical promises that have not been vetted for feasibility or reasonableness.

This section is not directed at ascertaining the merits of any candidate’s plan but it serves to illustrate that it may be easier said than done. For example, fencing the entire length of the border has been proposed but it is becoming clearer that such a fencing plan is largely flawed because of logistic and geographical limitations. Furthermore, assuming the terrain was such that one could fence the entire length of the border, then arises the question of how deep should these fences be built, after all one could construct a tunnel underneath. The cost-benefit of a physical fence along the entire southern border is less than the creative approaches others have taken.

The real and volatile issue in immigration is the messaging whereby there often appears to be little effort made to draw a distinction between “legal” and “illegal” immigration, because of the current economic climate. It is not uncommon to see some people go further and argue against legal immigration so as to preserve jobs for American citizens. Likewise, some sections of laws passed by states and localities, while well-intended to address crime rate spikes, have been too broad or vaguely-stated. Thus, it has created a false inference of targeting a particular segment of the population and has occasionally resulted in the local Chamber of Commerce opposing these laws because of their perception of collateral effect on local business interests. [2]

Unfortunately, this has also been spun by the liberals to brand Conservatives and Republicans as anti-immigrant, a tactic that has worked effectively for decades and continues to pay huge political dividends to the Democratic Party. The chatter amongst immigrants is that every group – except the Native Americans – has been immigrants at some point in their ancestry. As a result, when many immigrants, especially those that are minorities, become naturalized citizens, they register overwhelmingly as Democrats. However, this is indeed an ideological paradox because immigrants tend to be quite Conservative in their personal philosophy. As a result, the Conservative tent is barely getting broader compared to the liberal side of the aisle.

Added to this is the fact that many of these immigrants originally come from countries where over 80% of the population vote, hence voter turnout here in the U.S. is disproportionately high.

A political reality of the skewed voting percentage of this bloc is the potential to tip the results in favor of Democrats; this is most impacting in “swing states”. Conservatives have to be more tactical in messaging on immigration, especially with the upcoming general elections because change only comes with winning; or rephrased, “the party in power sets the rules.”

There are, however, several aspects of the immigration process that create ambiguous complexity, making the solution to the immigration debacle anything but simple. A common assumption is that nearly all undocumented immigrants are Mexican. Therefore the emphasis is almost exclusively on the southern border. So what of the northern border with Canada and its security? Since it is almost impossible to get an accurate figure of undocumented immigrants, it is reasonable to say that while most are Mexicans, there are other countries that have sizable representation of their citizens amongst undocumented immigrants.[3] Russian, Chinese, even common European ethnicities are found among this demographic. Therefore, the porous border is not the only reason there is a record number of undocumented immigrants.

There is a system of issuing visas that gives preference to some countries over others. Citizens from less-preferred countries, usually the developing nations, go through a more rigorous system to get a visa and often times are denied. In contrast, many developed countries have agreements with the United States whereby their citizens get visas at the point of entry, if the length of stay is less than 90 days. This means the burden of convincing the embassy officials to get a visa coupled with the fear of a future denial has caused many to overstay their visas. The process must be overhauled if we wish for improvement, especially the extremely slow processing time for approving immigrant petitions filed for beneficiaries abroad. To be clear, this is not making excuses for illegal immigration but rather bringing to light some factors that are not discussed in this otherwise hot debate.
THE CASE OF DANIELA PELAEZ – REVISITING THE “DREAM ACT”

The case of Daniela Pelaez has demonstrated the fundamental truth of the Immigration debate- conservatives are divided on many provisions of the DREAM Act, most especially the path to citizenship. However, the fervor of the topic of immigration has caused many politicians to camouflage their true beliefs into a hue of politically-correct positions. What we have seen is a spectrum of viewpoints: one end is just allowing certain undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors to enjoy the benefits of in-state tuition but no path to becoming citizenship whereas the other end of supports citizenship based on military and educational exceptions. Naturally, somewhere in between are those politicians who support just military exceptions but not the educational.

The Case of Daniela presents two results that are problematic: the wrong way to do the right thing or the right way that achieves the wrong outcome. Some were dismayed by the position taken by Senator Marco Rubio in meeting Daniela, as well as a number of elected officials from Florida intervening on her behalf, like Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Ms. Pelaez was recently granted a two-year stay of deportation, making it not a reprieve but a postponement of her predicament. I will briefly discuss some uncomfortable aspects of this case.

The most common reason given for barring undocumented immigrants from a path to citizenship is that it rewards breaking the law. As a result, it has come to be labeled the toxic word, “amnesty.” When a minor is brought in illegally by the parents or a child overstays because of the parents, who has broken the law – the parents, the child, or all the above? To illustrate the complexity is the fact that Daniela’s dad, who arguably broke the law, is now a permanent resident. If we assign a lesser level of culpability to minors in Criminal Law and generally treat adults differently from minors in law or the society, why do we struggle to carve an exception to minors who had no say in the transaction that made them undocumented? This is probably because immigration has become a politically-volatile issue; there are fewer jobs to go around and the fact that nothing is being done to secure the border makes any discussion on what to do with undocumented immigrants an ill-timed debate, uncomfortable for voters, business leaders and politicians alike.

THE ROAD AHEAD – SWEET HOME, ALABAMA

States cannot be expected to sit on the fence, so to speak, nor should the State legislators allow the Federal Government to bully them into abandoning their quest to pass immigrations laws that preserve the interests of their states. A State does best in self-determination if the Federal Government does not arbitrarily meddle in its affairs for political reasons. Alabama represents a great example of the shifting of equilibrium that may occur when a State passes immigration reform laws.

When Alabama passed the Hammon-Beason Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,[4] it was quite clear that it would have detrimental consequences on the children of undocumented immigrants and those business interests that rely on migrant labor. As such, it was not a surprise that the business organizations in urban areas called for a revision of the law. One can easily opine that businesses which hire these undocumented laborers are breaking the law to start with. However, it is another glaring theater of the conflict between what is ideal and what is real. The argument that these are jobs Americans do not want to do has yet to be disproven, so is it another classic situation of necessity, or is it just doing the right thing the wrong way?

The truth of the matter, and somewhat the reality of today, is that any immigration law passed by a State will be presumed to have discriminatory intent in the court of public opinion, no matter how its written, how limited its scope or necessary its passage. Thus, extra care should be taken in the legislative debates not to use language that could be considered, down the road, as adding credence to the notion that the bill was aimed at a particular group of people. Furthermore, whenever a law adds any burden on regular law-abiding citizens, it has the effect of causing the law to lose the support of the citizens. Finally, and most importantly these laws have to be narrowly construed, not sought to be “catch-all provisions.” As Alabama’s Attorney General Luther Strange has suggested, making tactical changes ensure laws are “easy to defend in court”.

It should be more about what Conservatives are for and not about what they are against; pro-legal immigration. We have real problems today because of yesterday’s politics. Something must be done, but not everything must be done right away. The right approach should be tactical; the messaging must be sincere; the solutions have to be simple and flexible. The immigration debate is one of the most tiresome, but important exchanges of our generation, and Conservatives must do a better job at addressing the right issues at the right time, and engaging their friends and neighbors to understand it beyond the hyperbolic rhetoric they find in social media. We have real solutions, we now need leaders that enact them with the support of an informed public.

 


[1] United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=f3829c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=f3829c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD (Accessed March 9, 2012)

[2] Forbes. Immigration Shootout At The Local Corral. July 19, 2007. http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/18/immigration-arizona-congress-biz-beltway-cz_jn_0719beltway.html (Accessed March 9, 2012)

[3] Michael Hoefer, Nancy Rytina and Bryan C. Baker. Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population Residing in the United States: January 2009. Office of Homeland Security, January 2009. http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_2009.pdf (Accessed March 9, 2012)

[4] Official text of HB 56 from the Alabama State Legislature. http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/searchableinstruments/2011rs/bills/hb56.htm (Accessed March 14, 2012)