Archive for the ‘Federal government of the United States’ Category

Senate Judiciary Page has the link to live video here.

Interesting to hear the left argue forcefully for greater government expansion and destruction of the US citizens’ rights.

From the AP:

Well it’s official, the justices have lost their ever-loving minds. It is now considered, “Constitutional” (I am about to start using the term very loosely) for your Federal Government to tell you what you must purchase and how much of it you must purchase. 10th amendment be damned I guess. After today a citizen of these United States now has less liberty than they had yesterday.

I’d like to leave everyone with this quote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the RIGHT of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government….”

 

 

 

A friend of mine directed me towards this little gem of legislation (if it can be called that), it is too bad I was paying to the “Flukeing Mess” (pun intended) that had descended upon  Rush Limbaugh last week when this bill was passed….

H.R. 347 basically modifies a 1971 law that restricts or limits entering public areas that are temporarily controlled by the Secret Service, or large events like the Republican and Democrat nominating conventions. SHould the President be protected when he goes places – ABSOLUTELY! Should citizens be denied their rights under the First Amendment? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

The problem here is that it is going to put the brakes on any movement, whether of the Right or the Left that wants to gather in Washington D.C.  All the President would have to do is to send a secret service detachment out to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, or your can name any other public area or memorial to instantly disperse any gathering you or anyone else tries to plan.

The original law was also modified to make any trespassing a felony, and if you happen to be carrying a weapon deemed “dangerous” you get up to 10 years in the slammer. This should remind you of something this guy had to deal with.

This definitely seems to curtail freedoms to protestors, no matter their ideology. It seems to me that FedGov officials want us neither seen nor heard. This should remind you of something this guy had to deal with.

Also you may be intereested to know the bill passed 399 – 3. The Republicans and Democrats always seem to find the common ground when it involves taking away liberty from the citizens they serve.

Info for this post was taken from the following sources:

The Paul Daily

The iTT List

From Wallbuilders:

Just a few examples of just how “Anti-Christian” and “Anti-Judiasm” this president really is:

Here are a few “acts of hostility towards people of biblical faiths:” (to keep it brief I will use one example from each year Obama has been either in office or a candidate)

  • April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
  • April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech.
  • October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions.
  • January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court.
  • February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion.

Here are a few examples of the United States military actions while Obama has been Commander-in-Chief:

  • June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.
  • February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read.

To further continue making the point, here are a few examples of hostility towards Biblical values:

  • January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.
  • July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.
  • July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778.

The author, David Barton, also goes great lengths to show the president’s preference of all things Islamic:

  • May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.
  • August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location.
  • October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House.
  • February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.

Mr. Barton gives SOURCES for every one of these claims including the SEVERAL I did not list here. If you don’t believe me check him out. I provided the link at the top of the post and I’ll post it again here.

I’d say this is concrete evidence that the president is not who he says he is. I learned a long time ago that a person’s deeds will betray a lie every time.

 

It’ll never happen, not with this president.

Having said that, coud it possibly be for the first time in several decades, that we may actually have statesmen in the federal government?

Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and Jim Demint have proposed a plan to accomplish to the following:

  • Cut 9+ trillion off of the budget over the next 10 year
  • eliminate 4 federal bureaucracies (energy, education, commerce and HUD)
  • Repeal every last ugly line of the monstrosity known as Obamacare
  • Reform federal entitlements
  • Balance the fedgov budget in five years
  • stop the national debt

The plan itself even outlines privatising the TSA, reigning in the EPA, reducing foreign aid to other country’s at the 5 billion dollar mark, selling off federal land to combat the deficit, and closing other unconstitutional/unaffordable fedgov agency’s or programs.

This plan should be read, studied and passed if it is deemed worthy. The fedgov’s spending is out of control thanks to our president and his senate. This plan would give the tea party and House republicans something to stand on when they have been criticized by our beloved leader and his cronies of not having any plan whatsoever, even though Paul Ryan’s budget proposal from last year comes to mind.

There will be a, “wailing and nashing of teeth” by all the leftist, but seriously, something needs to be done. The country’s credit rating, the president’s obvious spend and tax attitude, the struggling economy all dictate that serious measures must be taken to save the United States from the brink of collapse.

These gentlemen need to be heard and allowed to express their view to all citizens of the United States and this is our attempt to get the word out. Please be sure to contact your senators and congressional reps and encourage them to accept this proposal.

- should be Ann Coulter’s new mantra if she’s defending absurd expansions of the commerce clause.

Via the Washington Examiner:

Coming soon: Individual mandate to buy Chevy Volts

They’re joking with that headline… kinda sorta.

The CAFE rule is the fleet-wide average fuel economy rating manufacturers are required by Washington to achieve. The new rule — issued in response to a 2010 Obama directive, not to specific legislation passed by Congress — would require automakers to achieve a 40.9 mpg CAFE average by 2021 and 54.5 mpg by 2025. In case you’re wondering whatever happened to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it has been supplanted in the CAFE process by the EPA. The proposed regulation was designed, according to the EPA, “to preserve consumer choice — that is, the proposed standards should not affect consumers’ opportunity to purchase the size of vehicle with the performance, utility and safety features that meets their needs.” But the reality is that consumer choice will be the first victim.

Getting from the current 35 mpg CAFE standard to 54.5 can be achieved by such expedients as making air conditioning systems work more efficiently. We have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to anybody who thinks that’s even remotely realistic. There is one primary method of increasing fuel economy — weight reduction. That in turn means automakers will have to use much more exotic materials, including especially the petroleum-processing byproduct known as “plastic.” But using more plastic will make it much more difficult to satisfy current federal safety standards. The bottom-line will be much more expensive vehicles and dramatically fewer kinds of vehicles.

Mind you that’s average fuel standards.  So for every Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, or light truck in the low 20s range, they’ll need to sell about five more cars that get 60 mpg, like the little Euro-Ford Fiesta… which they could be selling here anyway, but it’s diesel, so no one likes it.  Also, as noted by this writer, diesel fuel quality could well be an issue – with biodiesel and such being problematic.

The average price of a new vehicle will go up at least $3,200, according to NHTSA, but experts outside government such as the National Automobile Dealers Association say the cost will be substantially higher. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that there will be no vehicles costing $15,000 or less, the segment of the market that college students and low-income consumers depend upon. Altogether, an estimated seven million buyers will be forced out of the market for new cars.

Total costs, as calculated by the EPA, will exceed $157 billion, making this by far the most expensive CAFE rule ever. For comparison, the previous rule in 2010 cost $51 billion, according to the EPA. But the EPA doesn’t include this fact in its calculation: Annual U.S. car sales are 14-16 million units, yet over time, this rule will remove the equivalent of half a year’s worth of buyers. Will that be when the EPA takes a cue from Obamacare and issues an individual mandate that we all must buy Chevy Volts?

Of course, the easy way to solve this would be to relax CAFE standards and decrease regulation.  If Dodge wants to go back to making a Durango that gets 8 mpg, people who want that will buy it.  People who don’t, won’t.  If Ford brings over their 62 mpg Fiesta, people who want to buy it will.  The market will solve the problem itself.

Few people want to spend more money on fuel.  Even those who like to burn fuel would rather burn less than more, or burn more and get more for it.  If faced with a choice between an H2 that gets 9 mpg and the same vehicle that gets 20 mpg, people will take the latter.  If you can choose between a Mustang that gets mileage in the teens but good hp or one that gets 26 mpg and 412 hp, people will take the latter.

It’s just simple economics.  The guy who needs the work truck that can haul X load, but only drives short distances around town, may not care about 10 mpg vs 20 mpg, because the tradeoff in performance for economy may not be sufficient over the life of the vehicle – CAFE standards hurt his business and productivity for very little return.  The student who needs a cheap used car, assuming there are any left that haven’t been destroyed with their tax dollars, is now going to have her quality of life reduced because her first new car will cost $3,200 more, and any used car she can still find will cost more as a result of government-induced scarcity.

The end result is that the poor and middle class find that government is reducing, not increasing, their quality of life.  Every paycheck gets thinner, every bill gets bigger.  Freedom dies as your means to exercise it dwindle away.  Of course, if you’re in a taxpayer-funded obese Caddy limo, I guess safety, utility, fuel economy, and everything else is pretty much meaningless, huh?

There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

The Wall Street Journal had a piece a while back on this very topic.

As federal criminal statutes have ballooned, it has become increasingly easy for Americans to end up on the wrong side of the law. Many of the new federal laws also set a lower bar for conviction than in the past: Prosecutors don’t necessarily need to show that the defendant had criminal intent.

These factors are contributing to some unusual applications of justice. Father-and-son arrowhead lovers can’t argue they made an innocent mistake. A lobster importer is convicted in the U.S. for violating a Honduran law that the Honduran government disavowed. A Pennsylvanian who injured her husband’s lover doesn’t face state criminal charges—instead, she faces federal charges tied to an international arms-control treaty.

The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the turn of the 20th century, the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker.

WSJ has a graphic here showing the expansion of federal sentences by type of law.  Those with regards to immigration may be disproportionately represented due to the constant violations of immigration law on the US southern border, but the rest paint an interesting picture.

There are also thousands of regulations that carry criminal penalties. Some laws are so complex, scholars debate whether they represent one offense, or scores of offenses.

This is where Cass Sunstein and the nudgers come in.  To give one example, 922(r) compliance.  It gets really complicated really fast.  The short version is that there are a limited number of foreign-made components that are allowed to be used in certain types of firearms.  Furthermore, the regulation is full of vague terms like “sporting purposes”.  Three Gun competition is a sport, but it’s not a Fudd sport approved by the Ruling Class, so it doesn’t count.

But “sporting purposes” turns into vague law that’s subject to the whim of whoever is enforcing it.  Assembling a firearm with the wrong number of components arbitrarily assigned turns into a 10 year prison sentence.

Counting them is impossible. The Justice Department spent two years trying in the 1980s, but produced only an estimate: 3,000 federal criminal offenses.

The American Bar Association tried in the late 1990s, but concluded only that the number was likely much higher than 3,000. The ABA’s report said “the amount of individual citizen behavior now potentially subject to federal criminal control has increased in astonishing proportions in the last few decades.”

A Justice spokeswoman said there was no quantifiable number. Criminal statutes are sprinkled throughout some 27,000 pages of the federal code.

This is where someone like a “regulatory czar” is a very, very bad thing.

One area of expansion has been environmental crimes. Since its inception in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has grown to enforce some 25,000 pages of federal regulations, equivalent to about 15% of the entire body of federal rules. Many of the EPA rules carry potential criminal penalties.

Regulations on pollution output can kill industries, regulations on endangered species can destroy people’s rights to their own land, regulations on car MPG can destroy entire auto industries, regulations on oil drilling can artificially hike energy costs and shunt international dominance to nations willing to exploit available resources.

Occasionally, Americans are going to prison in the U.S. for violating the laws and rules of other countries. Last year, Abner Schoenwetter finished 69 months in federal prison for conspiracy and smuggling. His conviction was related to importing the wrong kinds of lobsters and bulk packaging them in plastic, rather than separately in boxes, in violation of Honduran laws.

According to court records and interviews, Mr. Schoenwetter had been importing lobsters from Honduras since the mid-1980s. In early 1999, federal officials seized a 70,000-pound shipment after a tip that the load violated a Honduran statute setting a minimum size on lobsters that could be caught. Such a shipment, in turn, violated a U.S. law, the Lacey Act, which makes it a felony to import fish or wildlife if it breaks another country’s laws. Roughly 2% of the seized shipment was clearly undersized, and records indicated other shipments carried much higher percentages, federal officials said.

Professor James Duane mentions this case in his video “Don’t Talk to the Police”.

The myriad of laws that no one, not even the lawyers, are aware of, is one of the big reasons Prof. Duane gives for not talking to the police and thoroughly exercising 5th Amendment rights.

This overabundance of laws and regulations and rules make it so that simply to CYA, you can’t even trust someone you should be able to trust.  Talking to police when you’re truly innocent could result in a prosecutor or bureaucrat somewhere along the line finding out that you’ve broken a law or regulation you didn’t even know existed.  This slowly turns people against each other, and makes everyone more suspicious of their government (not necessarily a bad thing), but the myriad of laws and regulations is so overwhelming that it makes people not trust anyone.  The officer at the end of the professor’s speech says he never tries to put innocent people in jail – and while he might not – a prosecutor or bureaucrat might.

Or the authority figure might just go after someone they’ve decided they don’t like through use of other means.

The number of regulations that exist without regard for consequences are legion, and every one is a slow affront to the freedom of the individual.  Not all regulations are bad, but many are mindless, and operate without any regard for the consequences or second and third-order effects of their regulation.  Plus government employees, by the nature of their employment, are usually insulated from any negative consequences that their own regulation creates.

Well, usually.