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Heartland Institute CEO Joe Bast awards Dr. Arthur Robinson with “Voice of Reason” award

By Nancy Thorner

Ongoing today in this nation is a full court press to convince the public that everybody knows that a catastrophic global warming looms over us, that human beings are the cause of it, and that the only solution is to turn more money and power over to the government to stop us from our dangerous ways of living. 

The earth can be either warm or cool and has done both at one time or another for thousands of years, even before there were SUVs. Had there never been any global warming in the past, enjoying a visit to Yosemite Valley today would be impossible as it was once buried under thousands of feet of ice.

Forty-five years ago in the 1970′s, the environmental hysteria was all about the dangers of a new ice age. This hysteria was spread by many of the same individuals who are promoting today’s hysteria about global warming. 

Today the far the political left’s favorite argument is that there is no argument, that science is settled, despite the cooling trend in the 70′s and now the absence of any warming for 17 years and 10 months. 

Radical environmentalist Al Gore believes that disasters around the world can only be avoided by imposing a new form of authoritarian government.  Democracy is dismissed as a model that can sustain the world.  How then do climate alarmists like Al Gore explain the following discrepancy? Progress on the environmental front has been steady over the last half century without the transformative agenda now being proposed and enacted by President Obama to save the planet.

To President Obama climate change policies represent an important plank of his political agenda, one that Obama wants noted as an important presidential legacy achievement. Obama unequivocally accepts the claims made by climate change alarmists that are set forth by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is not at all hesitant to bash what he calls “climate deniers” and their obstruction by daring to debate science behind man-made global warming.  So it was on Friday, May 9, in a speech at a California Wal-Mart that Obama once again proclaimed “climate change as a fact” and that climate change skeptics are wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate.

In the mindset of President Obama, storms, floods and droughts have been made more severe by rising global temperatures.  This despite a report by IPCC that shows there “is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century” and current data shows “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century. … No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.”

In keeping with the “science is settled” argument falsely being conveyed to gullible Americans by Al Gore, the Obama administration, other radical environmentalists, and the mainstream media, it was gratifying and most appropriate that nine individuals (with a surprise tenth award), were selected prior to Heartland’s recent 9th International Conference on Climate Change through a request process solicited by The Heartland Institute for ideas and nominations of individuals world-wide who were willing to speak out against global warming alarmism. Without shame, The Heartland Institute considers it a badge of honor to have been called by The Economist in a May 26, 2011 article “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.” 

Heartland’s ten award recipients, all global warming skeptics accorded by President Obama as climate deniers, are but representative of countless of scientists who are routinely shunned by politically correct universities and scientific societies by simply speaking truth to power. Climate skeptics or deniers often take great risks regarding their personal safety and their professional careers, which have cost them the promotions and rewards they might have otherwise received from their peers. Government money falls on those who seek grants to study global warming and then produce solutions for it.  That money is not likely to fall on skeptic in the scientific community who refuse to join the global warming stamped. 

The awards delivered at Heartland’s conference were sponsored by eight organizations. Their purpose was to give long-overdue recognition and encouragement to the recipients, increase public awareness of the global warming realism movement, and send a signal to the academy and other elite institutions saying if they won’t recognize our heroes, The Heartland Institute will.  All of the ICCC9 videos can be viewed at this site.  

Following are the ten award winners — global warming heroes — individuals you should know about who are deserving of your praise and congratulations for their willingness to speak out about global warming alarmism:

  • “Speaks Truth to Power Award” to Dr. Patrick Moore, an internationally renowned ecologist and environmentalist who began his career as an activist/leader in the Greenpeace movement.
  • “Frederick Seitz Memorial Award” to Dr. Sherwood Idso, president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and the world’s leading authority on the effects of carbon dioxide on plants.
  • “Lifetime Achievement in Climate Science Award” to Dr. S. Fred Singer who was among the first and is still the most prominent scientist in the world speaking out against global warming alarmism.  In the August 2007 issue of Imprimis (a publication of Hillsdale College), Dr. Singer wrote this excellent article:  “Global Warming:  Man-Made or Natural?”
  • “Outstanding Spokesperson on Faith, Science, and Stewardship Award” to Dr. E. Cavin Beisner a theologian, historian and national spokesman for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and author or co-author of several major papers and articles on global warming produced by the Cornwall Alliance.
  • “Outstanding Evangelical Climate Scientist Award” to Dr. Roy W. Spencer, a former Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites.  Dr. Spencer has made no secret of his evangelical faith.
  • “Excellence in Climate Science Communication Award” to Tom Harris, the founder and executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition, a non-partisan group of independent scientists, economists, and energy and policy experts who are working to promote better understanding of climate science and policy worldwide.
  • “Courage in Defense of Science Award” to Dr. Willie Soon, who as an astrophysicist and a geoscientist he is a leading authority on the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate.  His discoveries challenge computer modelers and advocates who consistently underestimate solar influences on cloud formation, ocean currents, and wind that cause climate change.
  • “Climate Science Whistleblower Award” to Dr. Alan  Carlin, now retired, who was a career environmental economist at EPA when the Competitive Enterprise Institute broke the story of his negative report on the agency’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gases in June, 2009.  Dr. Carlin’s supervisor had ordered him to keep quiet about the report and to stop working on global warming issues. 
  • Surprise Heartland Award: “Dauntless Purveyor of Climate Truth Award” to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley   (Lord Christopher Monckton) who has for years been crisscrossing the globe sharing the inconvenient truths about global warming.  Known as the high priest of climate skepticism, Lord Monckton advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.  Monckton has attended United Nations conferences since the Rio Conference in 1991, during which time steps have been taken to create what is in effect a world government.  He urged conference attendees to write their congressmen and senators, telling them to press for the inclusion of an escape clause in the Treaty of Paris that will permit any State to resign from its obligations by giving a few months’ notice.  In that way, as the world continues to fail to warm anything like as fast as predicted, nations can break free from the regime of terror by stealth that has been furtively planned.   
  • “Voice of Reason Award” to Dr. Arthur Robinson,  a distinguished chemist, co-founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and editor of the newsletter “Access to Energy.”

It is worth noting that Dr. Art Robinson, as the internationally respected scientist that he is, is running in Oregon Congressional District 4 against Democrat Peter DeFazio, who cast one of the four deciding votes for Obamacare after telling Oregonians he would vote against it.  This is Art Robinson’s third attempt to defeat Democrat Peter DeFazio, the first attempt being in 2010. Robinson wants to restore sorely needed common sense in Washington, D.C.   He is not afraid to speak up publicly on behalf of sound science and common sense.  May he encourage others to follow the same course of action in the political arena.

Robinson’s book, Common Sense in 2012, although published and distributed in 2012, is just as relevant to the problems this nation is facing today as it was two years ago. 

This is your chance to get behind candidate Art Robinson, Ph.D., one of the ten distinguished award winners at Heartland’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change. Send an outstanding scientist to Congress in November. His “Voice of Reason Award” should serve him well in his role as a U.S. Congressman on the Chamber floor.  

More on Heartland’s 9th International Conference on Global Warming:

Article 1:  http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/07/ready-thorner-a-climate-change-holocaust.html#more    

Article 2:  http://blog.heartland.org/2014/07/heartlands-science-director-breaks-ground-to-rein-in-us-epa/

 

 

By Nancy Thorner - 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday, June 1, a power-plant proposal that seeks a 30% carbon dioxide emissions cut by 2030 from existing power plant, based on emission levels from 2005. With this proposal, the main piece of President Obama’s Climate Change Agenda has been set in motion. Although the rule is scheduled to be completed one year from now and will give flexibility to the states, it will regulate carbon emissions from hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants across the U.S. The 600 U.S. coal plants will be hardest hit by the standard.

As reported by the EPA (International Energy Agency), the cost of decarbonization since the last estimate of two year ago has increased by 22% due to the growth of coal power far outpacing renewables in carbon dioxide production. It would now cost $44 trillion to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s power generation industry to levels that would curtail global warming to 3.6 degrees through 2050, a safe level agreed to by international leaders.

As most of the warming in the past century occurred before 1940, before CO2 emissions could have been a major factor. Common sense alone should be enough to alert the Obama administration, yet there is sound science, that spending $44 trillion to limit temperature rise by 3.6 degrees by 2050 wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans other than cause an economic disaster.

Between 1940 and 1970 temperatures fell even as CO2 levels increased.  According to Climate Scientist Dr. Judith Curry and other notable scientists, public debate is moving away from the 15-17 year pause in any Global Warming to a period of Global Cooling.  Why then would the temperature rise a few degrees by 2050?  Because the ‘Sun Sleeps’, according to Danish Solar Scientist Svensmark, who has declared that “global warming has stopped and cooling is beginning…enjoy global warming while it lasts.” 

Nicolas Loris, an economist who focuses on energy, environmental land regulatory issues at The Heritage Foundation, compares the EPA to a misbehaved child who is recklessly doing what it wants at the expense of others without any supervision. He has proposed that Congress cut the EPA budget, just as parents might punish children by taking away their allowance.  Loris suggests ten areas for Congress to cut that would prevent the EPA from implementing regulations “that will drive up living costs for American families for little, if any, environmental benefit.” Loris further recommends that the EPA “eliminate programs that are either “wasteful, duplicative, or simply not the role of the federal government”, and then goes on to list program that Congress should cut immediately.

Cuts could be made to rein in the EPA, as outlined in the plan put forth by Nicolas Loris, but Jay Lehr, Ph.D., science director for the Heartland Institute, and one of the nation’s most respected and widely cited experts on air and water quality, climate change, and biotechnology, broke ground in revealing his comprehensive plan to reform the EPA in his remarks as a Keynote breakfast speaker at Heartland’s recent International Conference on Climate Change held in Las Vegas from July 7 – 9.   Jay Lehr, Ph.D. introduced a legislative plan to replace the United States Environmental Protection Agency with a Committee of the Whole of the State Environmental Protection Agencies, utilizing a phased five-year transition period.

Jay Lehr’s comprehensive EPA plan follows:

In 1968 when I was serving as the head of a ground water professional society it became obvious to me, and a handful of others, that the United States did not have any serious focus on potential problems with its air quality, drinking water quality, surface water quality, waste disposal problems as well as contamination that could occur from mining and agriculture. I held the nation’s first Ph.D. in ground water hydrology which gave me insight to understand the problems. I was asked by the Director of the Bureau of Water Hygiene in the U.S. Department of Health to serve on a panel to study the potential to expand their oversight into a full Environmental Protection organization.

 

We collectively spoke before dozens of congressional committees in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate calling attention to mounting environmental pollution problems.  We called for the establishment of an Environmental Protection Agency and in 1971 we succeeded.  I was appointed to a variety of the new agency’s advisory councils, and over the next 10 years we helped to write a significant number of legislative bills which were to make up a true safety net for our environment.  They included:  THE WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT (later to be renamed THE CLEAN WATER ACT); THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT; RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT; THE SURFACE MINING AND RECLAMATION ACT (which surprisingly covered deep mines as well); THE CLEAN AIR ACT; THE FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, RODENTICIDE AND FUNGICIDE ACT; and finally THE COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY ACT we now know as Superfund.

 

All of these acts worked extremely well for the protection of the environment and the health of our citizens, with the exception of the Superfund Law, which proved to be far too over reaching and wreaked havoc with American business, as after the fact companies operating within the law were fined countless dollars and required to pay huge sums for cleanup of waste disposal that had been within the law at the time of the activity.

 

From 1981 activists groups recognized that the EPA could be used to alter our government by coming down heavily on all human activities regardless of its impact on the environment.  It is my strong opinion that no single law or regulation has been passed since 1981 which benefited either the environment or society.

 

The power of environmental activists to take control of the EPA, and all of its activities, was slow and methodical over the past 30 years to the point where EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of environmental activist groups controlling 10% of the U.S. budget.

 

For over 20 years I have worked tirelessly to expose this story to the public beginning with my 1991 book, ‘Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns’, where 50 other environmental scientists joined together to describe the manner in which their own fields had been hijacked and distorted to allow fear mongering of an unconscionable nature.

 

I believe that the current structure of the U.S. EPA can and should be replaced now by a Committee of the Whole of the outstanding 50 state Environmental Protection Agencies, which in nearly all cases have long ago taken over primary responsibility for the implementation of all environmental laws passed by Congress or simply handed down as fiat rulings without congressional vote or oversight of U.S EPA.

 

When the agency was established in 1971 the federal government had no choice but to oversee all regulations of the initial seven safety net laws. Rapidly, however, every state established an independent agency which filed for and were granted primary control of the implementation of all the existing laws.  With only rare exception, each state is now under full control of the regulatory program. They are continually harassed to be sure that no one evades the heavy hand of the dozens of new regulations passed yearly over the past three decades, which have strengthened the initial laws, but have not benefited either our environment or the health of our citizens. Instead, they deter our economy and the right of our citizens to make an honest living without endangering the environment.

 

With 30 years of experience, these 50 state environmental agencies are ready to collectively take over the entire management of the nation’s environment. Only the USEPA research laboratories should be left in place to answer continual scientific questions, which would no longer be under the heavy hand of Washington politics.

 

Eighty per cent of what is now USEPA’s budget could be eliminated, while 20% could be used to run the research labs and administer the Committee of the Whole 50 State Agencies.  A relatively small administrative structure will be needed to allow the collective states to refine all existing environmental laws in a manner more suitable to the primary requirement of protecting our environment, without thwarting national progress in all industry and the development of our natural resources and energy supplies.

 

USEPA could be phased out over five years with a one-year preparation period, followed by a four-year program in which 25% of the agencies activities would be passed to the Committee of the Whole each year beginning with those activities least critical to the nation.  The Committee of the Whole will be made up of representatives from each state from each significant area of concern.  The Committee of the Whole will be divided up into subcommittees reflecting exactly how USEPA is set up, although many programs and offices within USEPA may be eliminated at the will of the states.  Offices, for instance, whose primary purpose is oversight of the state agencies. 

 

The Committee of the Whole would quickly determine which regulations are actually mandated in law by the Congress and which were established independently by USEPA, believing that legislation allowed them such latitude. Rules written clearly into legislation would be recommended for continuance or considered for request that the Congress take another look at regulations that the Committee of the Whole deems unnecessary in their current form.

 

Regulations clearly not supported by writings within legislation would be considered by the applicable subcommittees and the whole committee for alteration by a two-thirds vote of the Committee of the Whole.

 

Until the Committee of the Whole acted upon each individual regulation, all regulations would remain in force.  Many regulations would give states latitude to act while others would be required of all states by a two-thirds vote of the Committee of the Whole.

 

Each state would be funded to increase their staff to include people whose primary jobs would be to serve on subcommittees of the Committee of the Whole overseeing the issues previously overseen by the current USEPA.

 

This phase out of USEPA could be done in an orderly manner within five years.  Oversight of the existing USEPA research labs would eventually be seeded to a subcommittee of the whole.

 

When one considers how the USEPA was initially set up, along with the growth of the state agencies, this is actually a logical endpoint that could have begun 30 years ago.

 

The specific details of the five-year transfer from the Washington D.C. based USEPA and its 10 regional offices would be carried out as follows.

 

The Federal Budget for environmental protection will be reduced from $8.2 billion to $2 billion. 

 

The manpower will be reduced from over 15,000 to 300, who will serve in the new headquarters to be located centrally in Topeka

 

Kansas to allow the closest contact with the individual states and reduce travel costs from the states to central headquarters of the Committee of the Whole. 

 

The 300 individuals working in Topeka, Kansas will come as six delegate/employees from each of the 50 states.  The personnel currently working at more than two dozen research centers will remain in place until the Committee of the Whole chooses to make changes.

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is presently divided into 14 Offices which include the following:

 

OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR

OFFICE OF AMERICAN INDIAN ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICE

OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AND TRIBAL AFFAIRS

OFFICE OF POLICY

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

OFFICE OF ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE

OFFICE OF FAIR AND RADIATION

OFFICE OF CHEMICAL SAFETY AND POLLUTION PREVENTION

OFFICE OF SOLID WASTE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE

OFFICE OF WATER

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNCIL

OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Year One:

In the first year of transition all employees of USEPA will be informed of the five-year transition period allowing them ample time to seek other employment opportunities both from the Washington D.C. offices and the ten Regional offices that parallel to a large extent the activities in Washington. Additionally. during year one the two offices relating to Indian issues (American Indian Environmental Office and International and Tribal Affairs), will be transferred to THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS which should welcome this responsibility, along with about half of the monies budgeted for them within USEPA. During this first year all 300 employees relocating from our 50 states (six each) will begin work in the new Topeka, Kansas offices to be established early in year one.

 

A Chairman of the Committee of the Whole will be elected by the 300 delegate employees to a three-year term early in the transition after which the 300 employee/ delegates will be assigned to sub committees simulating the offices which exist in Washington, D.C.

 

Year Two:

During year two all activities of the Offices of Policy, Administration and Resource Management, as well as Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, will be transferred to Topeka from Washington, D.C. and the Regional Offices.

 

Years Three, Four, and Five:

In year three all activities of the Offices of Air and Radiation, as well as Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, will be transferred to Topeka.  In year four the responsibilities of the Office of Water and the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response will move to Topeka.  In the final year the remaining Offices of Chief Financial Officer, General Council, Environmental Information, and the Office of the Administrator will have their responsibilities moved to Topeka.

During each year of transition members of the Topeka staff will be assigned for periods of time to both the Washington D.C. Offices and the Regional Offices to study the activities of the existing units. It is quite likely that as the office responsibilities are transferred to Topeka, the Committee of the Whole of the 50 state agencies will choose to totally eliminate some of them.

 

It is also anticipated that if some D.C. offices experience an early excessive attrition of employees relocating before the phase out of their office, an earlier transfer of responsibility to Topeka may be required.

As monies are freed up in the transition from 15,000 federal employees to 300, each state will be allocated $20 million to enhance their new independent responsibilities and replace the six employees transferred to Topeka.  In addition to that use of one billion dollars (50 x $20 million), it is anticipated that the management of the Topeka offices and the continuation of the research and development program will require a second billion dollars allowing the permanent reduction of a $8.2 billion federal outlay for environmental protection down to a total of $2 billion.

 

Not only will large sums of money be saved by this transition, but the efficiency and quality of environmental protection will be enhanced by placing power and responsibility in the hands of the individual states.  It is well known that government closest to the location of the governed is the best for all.  Most states will embrace this plan, as it gives them the authority they have always sought and the funding to carry it out.

 

At this point in time, it should be recognized that it is absurd to think that 50 outstanding state environmental protection agencies with over 30 years of experience require the over sight of 15,000 federal employees.  It made sense in the agencies first decade of the 70′s’, it has made no sense since then.  Today the EPA is an agency whose value has long since disappeared. The new oversight by the collective Committee of the Whole of the 50 state agencies will carry out the needs of the nation more effectively and more efficiently with dramatically reduced costs in line with how our republic was established to operate.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. was a Keynote speaker on Wednesday, July 9, at 8:00 AM PDT  Listen to Lehr’s remarks here

Article 1: Thorner: A Climate Change Holocaust  –  Sunday, July, 13, 2014. 

 

 

 

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By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil - 

Most Americans would agree that liberty and freedom are values fundamental to our nation, but, if questioned, do they really know the intent of their meanings, or have they changed through time?  David Hackett in his book, Liberty and Freedom: A Visual History of America’s Founding Ideas, shows how liberty and freedom form an intertwined strand that runs through the core of American life. But like DNA, liberty and freedom have been transformed and recombined with every generation. Hence, the earliest colonies shared ideals of liberty and freedom may have evolved into different meanings today.

According to David Hackett, a historian at Brandeis University:

“Most Americans do not think of liberty and freedom as a set of texts, or a source of controversies or a sequence of controversies or a system of abstractions.  They understand these ideas in another way, as inherited values that they have learned early in life and deeply believe.”

The words themselves have differing origins: the Latinate “liberty” implied separation and independence, while the root meaning of “freedom” speaks of attachment, such as the rights of belonging in a community of free people.  In that the root meanings of freedom and liberty are not merely different, but instead are of two opposing concepts — separation vs. connection — it stands to reason that tension between the two values has been a source of conflict and creativity throughout American history.

In “Lincoln about freedom”, Lincoln, when speaking in Chicago in July of 1858, voiced how two different but incompatible ideas could be called “liberty”, further noting the second definition as tyrannical in nature.  Lincoln viewed liberty as the cornerstone of the Republic as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence.  To Lincoln, liberty, work and justice were closely connected concepts.  Lincoln reflected that the world has never had a good definition of the word liberty.  Lincoln believed that each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleased with himself and the fruits of his labor, also realizing that others used liberty to mean for some men to do as they pleased with other men and the product of their labors.    

Seventy eight years prior to Lincoln’s Chicago liberty remarks, on Christmas Day, 1780, Thomas Jefferson, author of the “Constitution,”  proclaimed his “Empire of Liberty” concept, thus laying out the principle foundations of a very important concept of liberty.

Jefferson believed it was the United States of America’s responsibility to the world to promulgate freedom and liberty wherever possible.  America’s example would assure all people everywhere that they have the ability and right to determine their own lives and commerce without being coerced by brutal despots.

Although Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty” laid out a vision of an internationalist America as opposed to a provincial one, Jefferson did warn against America becoming involved in “entangling alliances”, an argument often invoked by American politicians when they oppose aiding those seeking to democratize their countries.

Present day obstacle to Liberty and Freedom

Liberty allows each of us to achieve what we might of our lives.  As stated by Lord Action:  “Liberty is not a means to a higher political end, it is itself the highest political end.”  Matt Kibbe in his book, “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff,” takes a stand for individual liberty, laying out what we must do to preserve our freedom.  In a nutshell, simple and straightforward, Kibbe describes liberty as:  “Don’t hurt people, and don’t take their stuff.” 

Continual decisions made in Washington, D.C. about what to do for us, to us, or even against us, are having an adverse impact on the lives of the American people, young and old. Gradually our freedoms are removed, one intrusive law after another, and always with the excuse it is for our own good.  Men must be able to have the liberty to make their own choices, without a “nanny” government deciding what is best for everyone.  We must wean those in society who have become entrapped in a “cradle to grave” dependence upon government.   James Madison proclaimed, “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.”

Young people can’t find jobs, millions of Americans are losing their health care plans; ones they were promised have not materialized.  We are all being targeted, monitored, conscripted, induced, taxed, subsidized, regulated, and otherwise manipulated by someone else’s agenda, all based on someone else’s decisions made in some secret meeting or closed-door legislative deal.

Usurping of Constitution threatens Liberty and Freedom

Obama wasn’t bluffing when he smugly declared, “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.”  President Obama has already acted unilaterally on a wide range of issues, both domestic and foreign, with or without constitutional authority or congressional approval. It was never the intent that any president have the authority to ignore Congress or make and change laws through Executive Orders, and certainly not out of frustration due to an opponent’s refusal to roll over and approve his agenda.

Obama’s actions constitutes an alarming rise of one-man rule and the erosion of the once cherished concepts of liberty and freedom as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.  More than in prior times, Democrats are invariably placing their party’s interests above those of the nation and also above the law. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin noted that a year had passed since the Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill, and urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring a similar bill to the floor of the House with the warning:  if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration.”  

Senator Durbin seems to have forgotten it is the duty of the different branches of government to be independent in their judgments when they examine bills, so that each bill is thoroughly examined from different perspectives before being approved into law.  Rushing through an important and controversial bill such as changing our immigration law invites problems. The Affordable Care Act, among other recent examples, provides the proof.  Could many of the resulting problems we are experiencing today be the result of our elected officials not even reading the bills they sign, but instead “rubber stamping” them depending upon their political party leaders’ orders?      

The present crisis of children from Central America crossing over our southern border, is an example of the President’s abuse of authority, with heartbreaking results.  Congress refused to pass the DREAM Act, and rather than work with those who had different opinions, Obama side-stepped Congress and issued an executive order to implement important provisions of it.  That sent a signal to Central American countries that children would be allowed sanctuary when they crossed over into America. 

In a victory for religious freedom, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, June 30, 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. in the case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby (formerly named Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby). The case was the strongest legal challenge to Obamacare since 2012.  However, before Conservatives become too excited, it must be noted the decision was a “one vote” victory demonstrating the strong division within the Supreme Court.  

As education involves children and America’s future, under Common Core liberty has been scrubbed as a founding principle.  How could this be when liberty has such a strong, historical significance for Americans. Liberty equates to personal freedom and the right of citizens to live their lives without the intrusion of tyrannical government. 

Why the concern?

It is not surprising that according to a Gallup international poll released Tuesday, July 1, Americans have become significantly less satisfied with the freedom to choose what they want to do with their lives. This is a 12-point drop from 2006, which pushes the United States from among the highest in the world in terms of perceived freedom to 36th place. 

What has caused this alarming change in our population?  There are many causes to consider.  The federal government has gradually taken power from the states, while giving more authority to the federal government and even the United Nations.  We see the evidence of that in the changes United Nations Agenda 21 has brought to our states.  Individual American freedoms are being forfeited based on a United Nations agenda.

The erosion of our freedoms has concerned citizens searching for ways to reverse that trend by examining the reasons for the changes.  Some blame our elected officials, as many of them seem to lack the courage and convictions of our forefathers.  Rather than make decisions they know are best for America, they choose to take the easy course and follow the crowd.  They should consider this quote from John Quincy:  “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” Others blame liberal professors dominating classrooms across American with their socialist/communists socialist/communist doctrine, infecting their students with anti-American rhetoric.

An interesting suggestion for the decrease in America’s love for freedom, comes from writer Kenneth Minogue, who in his book “The Servile Mind:  How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life”, says that “traditional societies and totalitarian states in the twentieth century suggested that many people are, in most circumstances, happy to sink themselves in some collective enterprise that guides their lives and guarantees them security.”  That is believable knowing that almost half of our nation now receives some type of government assistance. Having left a corrupted government, our forefathers fled to America in a quest and passion for freedom, the chance for every man to make his own way; to be a master of his own life.  We must not let that spirit die. 

Calling all patriots to make voices heard!

Independence Day is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the amazing history of our country, to consider the men and women who allowed America to prosper.  Let us reflect upon the wise patriots who have dotted our history and changed our lives through their devotion to America.  We would do well to heed their wisdom, because not all of the changes we have recently seen in America have been profitable.   We may need to reflect upon our past for examples of courage and self-reliance.  Our schools must promote the ideals of patriotism, and allow students to know and value our history.  Our children should be proud of our nation, and that will happen as they review our history and recognize the gift they have been given; a gift that must be guarded for our future.

Dinesh D’Souza’s new film, “America,” released in theaters on July 2nd, has a real chance to help shape the future of our nation.  It is a movie that all should be encouraged to see, young and old alike, to be reminded that America is the world’s brightest hope for the future.  The film combats the destructive progressive ideology that seeks to undermine and abolish some of America’s founding ideas.  Check out the trailer here for “America.” 

Will this nation remain great?  Can it even be saved.  It is up to Americans who love their country to make their voices heard.  This nation stands at a crossroads.  Will liberty and freedom remain alive and be enjoyed by Americans now and in our future, or will we wander into the dangerous territory of a tyrannical government?  Americans must be vigilant; seek, find, and vote for the candidates who best represent their ideals and those of our forefathers.  Do not be fooled by rhetoric over actions or promises over facts.  America’s future depends upon the actions of patriots, who are vigilant.  Patriots can be found from sea to shining sea, and we suspect all who read and agree with the points in this article are a part of that prestigious group.  Together, we can make a positive difference. 

 

By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil –

As the 4th of July draws near, picnics, fireworks and parades will herald the day, but how many of us have forgotten the real meaning of the holiday, that July 4th is this nation’s birthday? Do we remember what this day represents, and why as a nation we have valued and celebrated the 4th? How many of us really value our liberties and freedoms, or have we begun to take them for granted? Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of those concepts, and they fought and died for them. What would they think of our current culture, when many think of the holiday as just a day off from work, an opportunity to party with family and friends? If the 4th of July no longer evokes patriotic pride, and if, as a nation, we lose the true meaning of the holiday, that is a sign Americans are in danger of losing much more.

There is an alarming trend of one-man rule in recent years. As said by F.H. Buckley in his book, The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America: “What we have today is ‘Crown government,’ the rule of an all-powerful president.” It is what founder George Mason called an “elective monarchy,” which Mason thought would be worse than the real thing.

It only took 10% of the colonists to spark the call for freedom from the tyranny of English rule and to set in motion the War for Independence. Fast forward to today, when many Americans have no idea what is happening to this nation, having not yet experienced the full effects of the unwise and lawless policies that have been initiated by a president who has usurped his Constitutional authority.

While political changes continue to occur, many of which are decided behind closed doors, it would be interesting to take a survey to discover how many 4th of July partiers are aware of how elected officials are watering down their very freedoms. Actually, it would be interesting to know how many people today even know the reason why we celebrate the 4th of July.

Why is there an apparent lack of patriotism today? One possibility is due to a group of world-wide leaders who have been advocating a “one-world government”. They have had an influence on our elected officials and population. They argue that national pride and respect for our nation’s sovereignty should not be emphasized. In preaching that opinion, they have gradually tempered some people’s enthusiasm for celebrating the birth of our nation as well as engaging in other patriotic practices, such as saluting our flag.

We know that colleges and universities throughout America are filled with liberal professors who also advocate less patriotism. In fact, the goal of many leaders, worldwide and here at home, is for a one-world government. Consider this quote from Robert Mueller, former Assistant Attorney General of the United Nation:

“We must move as quickly as possible to a one-world government, one-world religion, under a one-world leader.”

What about our American leaders, do they share that goal? Yes, many have bought into that agenda and have made similar statements. Unfortunately, many in the main stream media also support that philosophy President Obama alluded to it when he stated:

“All nations must come together to build a stronger global regime”.

Others have been more blatant, such as Henry Kissinger who proclaimed:

“Today America would be outraged if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order.Tomorrow they will be grateful. In such a scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government”.

Kissinger’s statement would be fiercely disputed by the brave men and women in 1776. But then, unlike Americans today, our forefathers had a taste of tyranny, and spit it out in disgust. Patriots like Patrick Henry proclaimed: “give me liberty or give me death”. That is the passion many of our forefathers demonstrated.

The notion of a one-world government can be inviting, as it might encourage everyone to live in peace: no wars; no more political fights. Very inviting indeed. However, that idea presumes there could be a government free of corruption, void of all self-interests, one that would reflect only altruistic purposes, and be led by someone with super human powers of fairness and wisdom. Human nature has rarely, if ever, produced such a person and certainly not a group of them.

Sir John Acton in the 1500’s was a wise man and discerning of human nature. You might remember Acton by this famous quote: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Gambling on the premise there could be an incorruptible world governing board or person is too dangerous of an experiment to seriously consider. Yet it is most definitely being seriously discussed at the United Nations. United Nations Agenda 21 is their plan to implement a world-wide system of governing. It has already been approved by most every nation. Our own presidents signed on to it, and its hand prints can already be found in most every city government in America.

Maybe it is time for all Americans to remember how we gained our independence, and most important to learn why our forefathers fought so hard for it. Everyone should reflect on the wisdom and courage of our forefathers and how we, as Americans, have benefited from their actions through the centuries. It is quite a magnificent and amazing story, and well worth remembering.

The colonists, having grown strong in their new land, began to advance ideas of how they would like to shape their new world. However, the English King was using his power and exercising total tyranny over the colonies. He would not entertain any requests from the colonists regarding changing or creating any laws specific to their circumstances, causing them to resent his majesty’s stubborn rule, and creating a serious erosion in any and all bonds they had with England. The colonists yearned for independence. As their resentment grew, so did the number of great men who began to step forth to form a committee that would soon lead to their famous “Declaration of Independence.” In that document they outlined the many grievances they had previously stated to King George III, grievances which went completely unheeded by the King. That document was their desire for freedom, something every man craves, and ultimately it led to the formal declaration of their independence from England on July 4, 1776.

The brave men who signed that document faced grave danger, and they knew their fellow men would as well. The following bold, selfless statement provides a glimpse into the hearts of those who were signaling the end of their tolerance for tyranny and the birth of a nation:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

The war that followed the signing of the document was bloody and prolonged and would ultimately claim more than 27,000 American lives. Men, women, and children would die from horrific wounds, disease, or were declared forever “missing”. The leaders of the revolution were not immune to these hardships and disasters. Five were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons who were serving in the Army, another two had sons captured. Some had their properties looted and destroyed; one saw his wife jailed and watched her die within a few months. They all paid a heavy price for the freedom they sought and victory began to seem impossible. Yet, despite extraordinary odds, the American forces persevered. The British began suffering embarrassing defeats, and finally General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781.

How could the small, rather rag-tag militia defeat the strong British army? The Brits were the best trained, fully equipped, and most professional army in the world at that time. Their Royal Navy was the undisputed ruler of the High Seas. In complete contrast, the Colonists were not adequately trained or equipped, and not even completely unified. What the Colonists did have was a strong determination. They were fighting for their very land and freedom. They fought against oppression. They were battling for more than themselves, it was also for their families and the future of their fledgling country. The majority of them were god-fearing people who depended upon and credited God with their victory. Few could deny at the time that what had been accomplished was truly miraculous. The account of Washington and his rag-tag Continental Army crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve speaks of great courage and determination in what seemed like insurmountable odds.

That was 238 years ago. Through the years American has had some high and lows, but the “Constitution” and “Bill of Rights” established by those brilliant and visionary men proved to be a profitable experiment beyond even their goals and imagination. However, there was a warning from Benjamin Franklin, as left the Constitutional Convention where he had been debating with other countrymen about what form of government would be best for their new country. Citizens had lined the streets anxiously waiting for the outcome of that secret meeting, when an excited woman in the crowd yelled to Franklin, asking him if the committee had yet decided whether their government would be a republic or a monarch. Franklin replied, “We have given you a Republic Madam, if you can keep it”. That warning must be heeded by all generations, because there will always be those who prefer another form of governing.

The warning from Franklin has stood the test of time. But, it would be a grave mistake for American citizens to take our Constitution for granted. Instead, it must be jealously guarded for any government leader or entity who might try to erode or change that magnificent document that has allowed freedom and prosperity for so long to so many.

The Fourth of July is a time we should all remind ourselves and others of the precious gift we all have been given. Being born in the United States has allowed its citizens freedom and the opportunity to prosper, and most have done just that. Our Constitution and form of government has propelled us into greatness. But, there is always that nagging question presented by Franklin: “Can we keep it?

The 4th of July is a perfect time to share the story of sacrifices of our forefathers throughout our history, and celebrate the unselfish altruism they exhibited. It would be appropriate to thank God for His protection upon our ancestors, and ask that His hand remain upon us. May our generation perpetuate the values and principles of all who went before us.

Make this 4th a special one. Celebrate it in a way that truly honors our forefathers and our country. Consider playing a game or engage your guests in conversations that allow all to learn our history and why we celebrate this important holiday. Let it be a time we all are reminded of why we enjoy our freedom and how we are able to pursue what has become known as “the American dream”. It is important because our children’s future depends upon our passion to keep it.

Many are now beginning to worry that America is broken. Hopefully there are enough true patriots who are willing to come forward and counter detractors in these unsettling times. A spark is definitely needed from today’s patriots to right the wrongs that plague this nation, not unlike those which aroused the colonists 238 years ago. The question is how many of us would be willing to take action today? Who among us would risk all to maintain our freedom and an independent nation. Hopefully, we will never need the answer to that question, but it is one we should look deep within ourselves for the answer. Just as men and women were forced to do July 4, 1776.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 at 03:28 PM | Permalink
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Illegal-cheat-sheet (1)

By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil - 

Our current immigration rules outline acceptable reasons for border agents to follow, when deciding whether undocumented aliens can cross into the United States. What has and is continuing to happen with the unprecedented 60,000 currently asking for entry is an example of how our laws are being violated by “gaming the system”. The aliens were given a “cheat sheet” (see above), which has been found at the border, with prepared instructions on how to answer designated questions asked by border agents how to provide the right answers, which will in turn guarantee them entry.  One of the more important questions they are being asked is their reason for wanting to leave their country of origin.  The aliens were told to claim it was due to poverty and/or fear of their government or gangs. Those answers are the “triggers” or the “loop holes” in our immigration law, which were originally written and intended for specific purposes (such as preventing sex trafficking) and certainly not for qualifying half the world’s population for entry into America.

If this loophole is not quickly corrected, we can expect a steady stream of immigrants to invade our country, creating a disaster we are not equipped to handle, and which our established immigration law was enacted to avoid. There are some concerned that within a short period of time, the parents of these children will be allowed to join their children under family unification. We certainly suspect others who see the success of the masses already here, will be eager to try the plan themselves. Quick action to shore up the loopholes, and resolve this problem is required by our government, or the precedent created will cause great harm to America.

It has been suggested that President Obama and his “no borders supporters” might perceive this increase in child immigrants to be a politically opportune moment.  President Obama has pushed Congress to act on long-stalled proposals to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, and he has indicated the changes would ease requirements for illegals to gain citizenship.   Should immigration reform pass, the flood of those invading the U.S. will become even more massive, as the hope of amnesty entices them to make the difficult trip north.  That phenomena happened when President Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million illegal immigrants in 1986.   Although closing the border was stipulated in that 1986 bill, the border security promise never kept.

While President Obama advocates for amnesty, it appears there are already those in place who will protest increased border security.  An Obama-appointed judge has recently ruled that a fence protecting the border is discriminatory against minorities!  Sadly, some in our judicial system are more concerned with citizens from other countries then they are in protecting our own.  According to liberals, sealing the border is bigoted and racist.  Apparently that opinion allows them to disregard our immigration laws and previous agreements to secure the border.   Agreements and promises are ignored, and the unprecedented onslaught continues.

For those who put compassion above all else, they should consider the dangers of transporting unattended children so far without their parents.  Some die before reaching their destination, due to the multitude of dangers they encounter.   Also, it is important that we discover who set up and financed those dangerous trips. Most parents were obviously not in a position to do so, and if they did do so, how then can the child claim poverty.      How did they get through Mexico without passports and the right papers?  Mexico has much more stringent rules about authenticated passports. Yet, they breezed through Mexico.  There is much more to this story that we do not yet know, indicating serious mischief by top officials.  We are learning that these children rode what are called death trains, where it is common to jump on top of moving trains, and then struggle with hunger, illness and exposure to the elements as they ride a train 3,000 miles to our border.  Worse yet, Sen. Ted Cruz said the children are being placed in ‘unspeakable’ peril when the traffickers, known as ‘coyotes,’ take over. ‘We just heard stories of little boys and little girls, forced by these drug dealers to cut off the fingers or cut off the ears of other little boys and little girls, in order to extort money from their families,’ Cruz said – See more at:http://www.teaparty.org/illegal-alien-children-forced-cut-fingers-ears-kids-coyote-gangs-45310/#sthash.SSgJlEgm.dpuf

Who will step forward with inconvenient facts?

Another problem not being discussed is that agents are now being pulled away from their patrol stations elsewhere along the border, resulting in dangerous gaps in coverage, and thus allowing drug traffickers to exploit the situation.   While we are caring for citizens here illegally from other countries, we are harming American citizens by inadvertently allowing an increase of illegal drug supplies and criminals into our country.

Will this tragedy be just one more example of a liberal media effectively protecting the Obama administration from the full extent of a White House involvement?  Will they turn this horrendous situation into some kind of a humanitarian effort in which our government is to be applauded?  Too often the “spin” effectively hides important facts with irrelevant fluff.  Will the media investigate or sufficiently explore the impact this mass immigration will have on our population, such as the exorbitant costs to taxpayers who will now be responsible for the immigrants’ expenses, their education, their very lives?

Will the use of this immigration crisis open the door to universal citizenship for illegal aliens

There are good reasons for our immigration laws; they protect our citizens.  Our porous southern border is harming Americans due to the importation of drugs, sex trafficking, criminals, and contagious illnesses, including one known case of swine flu in San Antonio, directly linked to the border surge.

What is not being discussed is that due to the unprecedented number of immigrants in America, our Country’s demographics are changing too.  One example of America’s future can be seen in what has happened in Santa Ana, CA, which is the county seat of Orange County.  Fifty years ago Hispanics made up barely 15% of Santa Ana’s population, which were mostly farm workers.  Today, Hispanics make up 79% of Santa Ana’s population and Whites now are a mere 10%.  If the current lack of immigration enforcement continues, Santa Ana will not be an exception.

Democrat officials have done very little to stop this invasion by illegals, which many attribute to the fact Hispanics vote for Democrat candidates by large percentages.  It has been said that Democrats don’t see people, they see voters. Republicans see overcrowded classrooms, higher taxes to support the massive welfare programs needed to support them, and cultural changes due to the problem Hispanics do not assimilate.  They remain loyal to their birth country, and send much of their money to Mexican relatives.  Santa Ana schools have even used Mexican textbooks in their classes; books that are favorable to Mexico, not the United States.

The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) made some interesting observations about the border crisis, saying:  “Congress must take immediate action to protect our homeland from this invasion. The orchestrated surge exposes a crises in leadership which by design fosters lawlessness which is bound to end in anarchy. The humanitarian issue is a false argument put forth by the administration which is very likely the reason the administration will not allow interviews of the minors by the press.  The administration does not want the truth to get out.  The truth would dispel the deception.  Whatever America does, whatever NAFBPO does, should protect American and Americans first to the maximum extent possible.  That means consequences for the lawbreakers to stop the invasion and return the invaders to their home country.  Period!  Anything less is political posturing.”  Possibly their most potent statement was this: “America is undergoing the most intensive campaign of political deception ever launched against Americans by her political leaders.” 

It is incomprehensible why all of America isn’t absolutely demanding that all the children be returned to authorities in their home country, and stop this potential precedent that has more potential to harm instead of help America.  They should not just be returned to their parents, but to their respective government officials so that they will have the burden of and responsibility for locating parents and reuniting these families. No asylum, no amnesty, no sheltering them in our cities.  This is a critical national security issue.  We urge all concerned citizens to ask their Congressional representatives to take immediate action to protect our homeland from this invasion, by demanding this of their elected officials.

University of California Professor Darrell Y. Hamamoto, a Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis, warned on June 25 that “the influx of illegal immigrants into the United States through mass uncontrolled illegal immigration is part of a plan to create a new underclass of people who can be re-educated from the ground up in order to create a subservient underclass who can be controlled much more easily.”

Hamamoto’s warning is noteworthy given his position at one of the most liberal institutions in the United States. He has received backlash from his vocal stance against the mass influx of unaccompanied children across the border.  Even so Professor Hamamoto’s concerns are so profound that he has had no reservations in going public.

Many concerned citizens are recognizing another potential aspect of the recent wave of “Unaccompanied Alien Children”, claiming it is one more application of the left’s long-championed Cloward Piven strategy, which has been used multiple times in the past to accomplish liberal goals.  It has been suggested that Obama is using the hordes of unaccompanied children sent to our southern border as pawns to implement his goal of universal citizenship for illegal immigrants, by referencing the intentionally created crisis as a humanitarian one.

The big question which everyone must consider is whether the liberal’s goal to help other country’s citizens will be realized or whether American citizens will refuse to be influenced by emotions, and instead be motivated by logic and wisdom.  America is $17 trillion in debt, with a myriad of problems that will take great efforts to correct, including security concerns and continuous problems with a significant jobless rate and homeless population.  Close to 50 percent of Americans are on some type of financial assistance program.  We simply cannot take on the “needy” of this world, without soon suffering a similar fate ourselves.

Thorner & O’Neil: Part 1: Surge of immigrants: humanitarian issue or political deception?

http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/06/thorner-oneil-part-1-surge-of-immigrants-humanitarian-issue-or-political-deception.html#more

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Arizona-illegals-2

By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil - 

Since October of last year 52,000 – 60,000 unaccompanied children have arrived at our border with Mexico with an expectation of being allowed into our country. They came mostly from Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador, based on information they received promising America had relaxed their immigration laws and if they managed to reach our borders, they would be allowed entry, especially the children.

Among the hundreds of  children apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol  it is alarming that some were infants and toddlers, but also that the average age was about  fourteen, and many of them were in the unaccompanied category. Shocking images have been captured of young faces pressed blankly up against thick glass panes and hundreds of children huddled under aluminum-foil blankets on concrete floors behind chain fences and barbed wire. Obviously, the pictures tear at our hearts, and cause us to think emotionally about the situation, rather than with rational logic. Could that be the intent of those who helped initiate the mass immigration we are seeing?

Few deny it has become a crisis of epic proportions, as immigration officials and their facilities have been overwhelmed with the flood of arrivals. They are taxed with finding equitable ways to manage the unprecedented invasion. But many questions remain as to how all this happened, why it happened, and what our government plans to do about the problem now, as well as long term solutions.

Resettlement rather that Deportation

It is perceived that the Obama administration’s plan is more about resettlement than deportation for the unaccompanied migrant children. Therefore, it is important for everyone to examine current laws that have been enacted on the subject. The current crisis involves a massive amount of children who are coming from Central America, rather than Mexico. That makes a difference in procedures. Central American children must be taken into US custody, while Mexicans of any age can be turned back at the border. This is the result of a series of laws passed by Congress and signed by President Obama that set in place a particular process for unaccompanied child migrants, as a way of fighting human trafficking. These laws reinforced a 1997 government lawsuit settlement that set certain standards for care.

Most of this process was codified by Congress under the Homeland Security Act of 2002; Congress added some additional protections under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, in 2008.

Under those laws, the Border Patrol is required to take child migrants who aren’t from Mexico into custody, screen them, and transfer them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (a part of the Department of Health and Human Services), which is tasked with either finding a suitable relative with whom the child can be released, or putting the child in long-term foster care. The current system was built for 8,000 kids — not 50,000. There are not beds in HHS facilities to handle the number of Central Americans. So this is unprecedented, and because the decisions now being made could set a precedence for the future, it is exceedingly important that citizens keep a close watch on the issue and hopefully offer their well-thought-out advice to elected officials, ICE, and Homeland Security.

Surge anticipated by Obama administration?

There are reports that the Obama Administration anticipated the surge of children that would be crossing the southern border illegally way back in January. It was then that the Obama administration placed an advertisement for contractors to “help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resettle 65 thousand illegal children”, months before the border crisis began. So, why is President Obama and other officials acting surprised by the thousands who made their way here?

In this video clip, documentary filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch warns that the invasion is only beginning.  As stated by Lynch, “It’s about to get worse.  Entire villages are emptying and coming from Central America through Mexico to the United States. They’ll be hitting the border within the next few weeks. What you are seeing right now is the tip of the iceberg.”

In an act that speaks of desperation, on June 19, the federal government posted yet another help wanted advertisement as a solution to the explosive increase of children illegally crossing the southern border, namely:

The Department of Homeland Security is seeking “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children,” or UAC, as juveniles entering the United States are called.

How has the public responded to this Administration’s pleas for American citizens to “adopt” these immigrants into their communities?

Residents of Lawrenceville, Virginia succeeded in thwarting plans to shelter 500 of the children at a defunct college located in Lawrenceville, St. Paul’s College, which authorities saw acceptable as a refugee camp for junior illegal aliens.  Concerns mentioned as to why the residents declined the immigrants included:  fear of “communicable diseases, such as drug resistant tuberculosis, and potential gang violence from the “teenagers.”  Known gang members, some sporting gang tattoos, are among the children storming the U.S. border. Of immediate concern is that a case of swine flu has been confirmed at a shelter for unaccompanied minors

Another site crossed off the list of potential sites by HHS (the same agency that botched the ObamaCare rollout) was a former monastery located in Olympia Fields, a south Chicago suburb, due to a strong social media outcry.

The White House official statement about the immigration crisis is that it is an “urgent humanitarian situation.”   Recently Democrats have sought to re-frame the deepening crisis by identifying the immigrants as “refugees”, to coincide with the different rules and laws that apply to people with that label. That is one reason critics believe Obama’s intention is to find a way to keep all 60,000 plus immigrants here permanently.  Be prepared for the possibility of our president suggesting a good-will gesture to bring the children’s families to the United States too.  That would add another potential 200,000.

Will rule of law and nation’s well being trump the emotional factor?

Yes, Americans feel sorry for others’ misfortunes and lack of quality of life based on where they were born, most certainly when children are involved, but if we allow a flow of 60,000 minors to enter the U.S.A., with a steady stream to follow, that will adversely affect and impact our own citizens.  That is wrong. A law should never injure one person’s life to make another one’s better.  That simply is unfair!  We may need to remind our government that USA citizens must be their top priority.  We simply cannot rescue everyone all the time, especially when we currently have a 17 trillion dollar debt and a continuing job crisis problem.

How will keeping the 60,000 immigrants injure anyone? The immediate problem is that due to the huge numbers needing to be processed, the usual health checks, background checks, and investigating for potential criminal records, cannot always be completed on everyone.  Many have already been shipped away to other areas of the country.

For decades, American officials, at the highest level of our government, have refused to enforce established immigration laws, causing our immigration system to become horrendously inefficient, overburdened and in desperate need of a correction.  Yet it seems the new laws enacted tend to escalate rather than decrease problems.  In 2002 a law was enacted to protect childrens’ welfare, so that thousands of immigrant minors crossing alone into the United States would be able to attend public schools and possibly work in America for years without consequences.  This fact is known throughout Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and thus enticed even more children to make the dangerous trip, believing they can remain in the U.S for years, before facing even a moderate risk of deportation.  And the longer the immigration process goes on, the less likely a child will be returned home.  In recent years as many as one-quarter of the immigrants ordered to report to courts have failed to appear.   Because of the massive number of children involved, it will take years before the unaccompanied minors have their cases heard.

We, the taxpayers, are paying for the care of immigrants who illegally cross our borders.   We have allowed ourselves to be responsible for the arriving 60,000 too.  They currently need housing, care, and ways to transport these illegal aliens to parents, relatives, or warehouses in the United States. The White House has projected a staggering cost of $2.28 billion to care for and resettle child migrants from Central America; some say that figure is low.   They are asking for another $1.4 billion to keep the children here.  Incredibly, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. announced that the Obama administration would pay for 100 lawyers to help these underage illegal aliens remain in the United States, thus begging the question:  “why”?  Has our government become more concerned about foreigners rather than our own citizens?

Part 2 will discuss the surge as a politically opportune moment for the Obama administration in its use of the crisis to open the door to universal citizenship for illegal immigrants, which represents yet another application of the left’s long-championed Cloward Piven strategy.

 

Obamas-Pen

By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold - 

The PBS Newshour on June 18 at 6:45 p.m. EST, presented a topic for debate that should be non-partisan in nature: “How much power can the president wield by sidestepping Congress?  Gwen Ifil presented the following introductory remark:  “This week, the White House has announced three separate executive actions dealing with gay rights, the environment, and manufacturing, raising the question, in the midst of partisan gridlock, how much can the president do without Congress?”

It was Jeffrey Brown of PBS who conducted the June 18th PBS program debate between Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, and Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.  Brown prefaced the start of the Turley/Waldman debate by informing listeners how President Obama has been expanding executive action, something Obama promised to do earlier this year when he said:  “We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need.  I have got a pen and I have got a phone.”

Brown continued his preliminary debate remarks by relating how President Obama has followed through on a wide range of issues, including equal pay for women, student loans, and more recently carbon pollution, with the result that every time the president does he faces backlash from those who peg him as an imperial president.

The debate that followed was a surprisingly, well-balanced debate on a traditionally liberal forum.  Jonathon Turley provided some good insight. This is the same Jonathan Tuley who testified as a constitutional law expert in front of a House Judiciary Congressional hearing, “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws,” on Wednesday, February 26, which focused on the multiple areas President Barack Obama has bypassed Congress, ranging from healthcare and immigration to marriage and welfare rules.

In his Congressional testimony, Turley warned that expansion of executive power is happening so fast that America is at a “constitutional tipping point.”  This from one who agrees with many of Obama’s policy positions, while he steadfastly opposes the method Obama is going about in enforcing them

The President has increasingly resorted to using Executive Orders to further his objectives. The excuse being is that he is unable to get Congress to do his bidding. The House, in particular, controlled by Republicans, is unlikely to cooperate in this regard. With conservatives moving further to the right, the country is becoming more polarized, a natural consequence of nature seeking a balance. With a President moving ever further to the left, refusing to compromise with Congress or even to obey and enforce laws already on the books, moving to the right is the only way to offset this misdirection. Conservatives have found that to compromise is to lose. The Left has abandoned the gentle art of compromise, which forms the core of a working democracy. The barricades are up and the lines are drawn.

Although all Presidents have used executive powers to some extent, none have used these powers like President Obama to directly override Congressional wishes, existing laws, and to create new powers for himself.  President George Washington numbered but eight executive orders.  In the grips of a devastating union strike President Truman took control of the steel industry on April 8, 1952 to prevent collapse of manufacturing, transportation, and ultimately the economy; President Obama did the same to halt a transportation strike in Philadelphia which paralyzed the city. Truman’s action was subsequently found unconstitutional and overruled by the Supreme Court in a 6 to 3 decision.  Why did a similar action by President Obama go unchecked?

The National Emergencies Act of 1976 sought to define presidential power in a way which would serve the country and the constitution, yet be reasonably constrained.

Conflict with Congress is nothing new. Laws can be proposed by the President, but must be passed by both the Senate and House in the same ultimate language. The process is cumbersome because it is intended to force compromise, between branches of government and chambers of the legislature. It is this give and take structure, which has served for nearly 250 years, that is under unparalleled assault by this administration.

It is not just the President, but his major appointees who threaten the rule of law. The Attorney General, Eric Holder, has refused to enforce major provisions of immigration law against selected classes of people. Knowing they will not be deported, we have up to 600 unaccompanied children each day pouring across the border, only to be shipped by buses and planes throughout the country with only a token admonition to submit to a hearing.

Pamphlets encouraging this migration are being handed out in their native countries, a thousand miles away, by unidentified persons. The Defense of Marriage Act (1976) was overturned by the Supreme Court, largely because Holder refused to defend it, giving a precedent by which state and local laws continue to fall (The Supreme Court ruled that the act usurped power granted to the states.). Bill Clinton signed the bill, and Congress overwhelmingly supported it.

In the last day or so both Vice President Biden and President Obama have conveyed messages to the governments of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras that the children being sent will not be granted amnesty, but, like other promises, they are likely to say one thing and do another.

According to pro bono lawyers hired to represent the unaccompanied children, based on current immigration and asylum laws the vast majority of the children could be legally staying right here in the U.S. before long. Their opinion is further bolstered with recent information that on January 29th of this year, the federal government posted an advertisement seeking bids for a vendor contract to handle “Unaccompanied Alien Children” — 65,000 of them!  The Obama administration’s claim to have been surprised may very well be yet another political lie of the year.

The Department of the Treasury joins the Department of Justice and the President in the assault on the Constitution. The Constitution grants first power of the purse to the House of Representatives, yet Jack Lew declared he would order the Treasury to print money for the President to spend, whether authorized by Congress or not. The theory is that once Congress determines something should be done, it will be done at the discretion of the President, regardless of the cost and the manner of implementation. Congress can no longer halt action by withholding funding.

The Internal Revenue Service, allegedly at the behest of key Democrats, including Charles Schumer and Richard Durbin, launched a campaign to silence conservative citizen organizations before the 2012 elections, hoping to prevent a repeat of their apparent success in 2010. The President’s role is unclear, but in his State of the Union address in 2011, Obama called out the Supreme Court for its 2010 “Citizens United” decision, which gave corporations and associations the right to spend money on political campaigns and issues. This was recently expanded in “McCutcheon” decision, April 2014.

If nothing else, the President’s statements may have emboldened his followers to act on his behalf, like the famous statement made by King Henry II:   “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest? [Thomas Becket].”  Despite considerable indication of a major cover up, even destruction of evidence, the Attorney General refuses to appoint an Independent Investigator (prosecutor), with real authority to uncover the facts.

The Democrats are acting as though there will never be another president, that the next two years are the only ones that count.  We can’t survive as a nation if this lawlessness continues.  In the absence of constraints, whether by law or ethics, the Republic is in grave danger of becoming a dictatorship.  The next president will not reset the clock, rather start in the footsteps of the last, and so ad infinitum.

This President is unchecked largely because any legislative restraints passed by the house are blocked from the Senate floor by majority leader Harry Reid, as well as any that might originate in the Senate. If Reid and the Democrats cannot see that their actions render Congress irrelevant, the only hope is that Republicans will be restored to control that body in the 2014 mid-term elections.

Even gains short of a majority might still awaken Senate Democrats to the folly of the status quo, and revive the tradition of negotiations and compromise. The President could still veto legislation, but the sole responsibility would fall on his shoulders. So shunned, Congress has a long tradition of bi-partisan restoration of balance in the form of override votes.

 

Student-photo-privacy

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil - 

The public, even parents of school aged children, tend to trust those in authority to make good decisions and enact credible laws regarding our public education system, believing that any changes made would be in the public’s best interest. While that is largely true, citizens should remain vigilant and carefully examine any and all new laws and mandates. Complacency invites corruption. Our nation’s education system must always be one in which we can fully trust. Anything else is unacceptable.

The implementation of Common Core Standards, and its resulting curriculum, initiated a major shift in our nation’s education system, and the changes it requires have caused enormous controversy throughout America for numerous reasons that we have outlined in previous articles.

Let’s focus on the Data Mining element of Common Core. Now that the public has had a chance to “read the rules”, we discover Common Core violates the privacy of students and their families, through the gathering and sharing of personal information and worse yet, that the private information is being sent and shared with the federal government.

Parents are particularly concerned about three major issues: 1. The safety aspect of schools and government entities being able to keep personal data safe from “hackers”; 2. The reasons our federal government intervened and interfered with state rights, and require the gathering of personal data from students and their families; and 3. How parents can use legal ways to avoid divulging intrusive private information to schools.

The Problem of Keeping Private Information Safe

We are living in an age in which most information is being stored electronically.  It is popular due to the ease, convenience, and ability to store so much data without requiring massive space to do so.  With these wonderful attributes though, there is one unfortunate problem.  The stored data is not as safe as we once had believed.   A new study indicated almost half of all Americans’ private information was compromised/revealed due to hackers.  Hackers have successfully infiltrated and gleaned information from sources that were once considered impossible to “hack”, such as chain stores like Target and even our government agencies.  For that matter, our government has used sophisticated tech equipment to spy on other countries.  Nobody is safe from prying technology today, and thus neither is any electronically stored information garnered through schools.

Therefore, parents should be exceedingly cautious about giving personal information to schools. Some have suggested Common Core itself could be considered one of the more dangerous domestic spying programs.  This came about when Bill Gates, one of the leaders and most avid promoters of Common Core, put millions of dollars of his own personal money into its development, implementation and advertising of the new national education program. Consider that much of the data mining will occur via Microsoft’s Cloud system.

Even the Department of Education is concerned with the issue of privacy, admitting that some of the data gathered may be “of a sensitive nature.”   This is indeed an understatement by the DOE as much of the data collected will be completely unrelated to education.  Data collected will not only include grades, test scores, name, date of birth and social security number, it will also include parents’ political affiliations, individual or familial mental or psychological problems, beliefs, religious practices, income and other incredibly sensitive, highly private information about the student and the student’s family.

There is also concern that private companies donate education apps to schools in exchange for children’s information, increasing the threat of children’s personal data being abused.

According to The New American, schools in Delaware, Colorado, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina have committed to “pilot testing” and information dissemination via sending students’ personal information to the InBloom database (a non-profit group funded by the Gates Foundation and supported by Amazon). Not yet known is whether parents know and/or approve of the dissemination of that personal information.

Reasons for the accumulation of student/family Data

We have all heard the quote:  “Information is Power”.  New York Times Columnist Matthew Lesko expanded upon that theme with this statement: “Information is the currency of today’s world. Those who control information are the most powerful people on the planet – and the ones with the most bulging bank accounts.”  Imagine the power of those who receive the collection of student data from most every student in America.

Common Core supporters will point out that there is nothing within the standards or rules which requires personal data be acquired; and that any data gathering is entirely up to the individual states.  Ah, but it isn’t that simple or even true!  That statement is highly disputed, with a little research.

The federal government had been prohibited from gathering students’ specific data for a national database, but shortly after Obama became president, the Stimulus Bill provided a loophole.  Money was given to each of the states to develop longitudinal data systems to catalog data generated by Common Core aligned tests.  Permission to release student information collected since 2009 was then authorized to be shared among federal agencies without the consent of parents.

The federal government encouraged states to participate in data collection initiatives such as the Data Quality Campaign, the Early Childhood Data Collaborative, and the National Student Clearinghouse, all of which helped to increase the collection and sharing of children’s formally protected data.

In addition, the National Education Data Model suggests that states increase their collection of information about students to over 400 data points on each one.  That leaves little doubt that the construction of their data systems has been purposely increased.

Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, students under Common Core will begin taking state standardized tests, and student-specific specific data will be stored by the states in their newly create longitudinal data system, designed to track student progress from K through 12th grades.  That data will be dissected, supposedly for the purpose of improving education.  However, as a nation, we must ask ourselves whether we want to respect individual rights of privacy or whether we want a more “collective” approach that claims it is permissible if the action benefits the common majority.  Consider, if such a benefit is at the expense of others.  It is moral?  Leo Tolstoy said: “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”

What will be collected?  

The type of material being collected due to the changes by the current administration, is so extensive, one could say “almost everything will be included, some of which is highly personal “.  Of course test scores will be collected, and be aware, Common Core encourages massive testing.  What is strange and should be a red flag to reasonable people is why schools are also asking about student’s hobbies, psychological evaluations, medical records, religious affiliation, political affiliation, family income, behavioral problems, disciplinary history, career goals, addresses, and bus stop times, with their locations.  It was even suggested schools use cameras and/or special equipment to judge facial expressions and a student’s posture in the classroom, supposedly for the purpose of assigning stress levels.

The Department of Education claims to be concerned with the issue of privacy, admitting that some of the data gathered may be “of a sensitive nature.”  This is indeed an understatement by the DOE.  Knowing much of the data collected will be completely unrelated to education, in 2012, a combination of 24 states and territories struck a deal to implement data mining to receive federal grants. “Personally Identifiable Information” was allowed to be extracted from each student.  Examples below are some of the more extreme examples of data mining, causing reasonable people to question why the government would venture into such an invasion of our privacy.

1. Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent;

2. Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family;

3. Sex behavior or attitudes;

4. Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior,

5. Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;

6. Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;

7. Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; and

8. Details of Income.

The information, will be sent to federal agencies that were put in place once the States accepted Common Core.

Local Control Compromised

When the federal government first interfered with the States’ responsibility to educate our children, a line was tragically crossed.  Local control was compromised, as higher levels of officials took more responsibility and dictated more rules from their level of government.  While Common Core apologists try to minimize problems their changes caused, discerning people know there has been this breach in America’s laws and traditions.  Power transferred from the local governing agencies to the federal government.  Any advantage parents had for any significant control over their children’s school or curriculum has been greatly reduced.  It is easier to facilitate potential changes, act on complaints, and make specific adjustments when local government has the power to consider logical adjustments, rather than have to go to a state or federal level to be heard.

While Common Core supporters argued states still have the same control as always, many parents remained skeptical.  It did not take long to discover just how much control the federal government now has.  Our wise forefathers did not want the federal government in charge of the education of our children.  Too much power!  Remember the warning by Sir John Acton in the 1500′s.  “Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”  When we see that power has corrupted a local politician, it is fairly easy to remove and replace the person.  That is not as easily discovered or accomplished then the official lives and works outside of our community.

What Parents Can do to Protect their Children from Data Mining

A California law firm, the Pacific Justice Institute has developed a from parents can use to opt-out of all statewide performance assessments, including academic, achievement tests, and Common Core assessments, as well as any questionnaire, survey, or evaluation containing personal questions about their child’s beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality, politics, income, religion, and other highly personal information.

Parents in other states can contact The Pacific Justice Institute for specific information, and to see if there is a similar agency in their state with a similar “opt out” form.

Conclusion

There was a time in our history in which schools needed the permission of parents for their children to go to school.  Decades later that was reversed and a law enacted that made it mandatory for all children to attend school.  Laws were eventually enacted giving schools more authority than the parents over their children’s schooling.  The current administration has taken federal control to a whole new level, which includes loss of local control and parents subjected to invasive data mining.  This did not make the front page of our newspapers.  In fact Common Core was a surprise to most teachers and local school boards, who scrambled to comply with the new law and education standards and curriculum.

Something as important as major changes in our nation’s education system deserved more input, more openness, public involvement, a public comment period, and certainly proof through trial programs that the new system is superior to the one it replaced.

Instead, our federal government and most every state government unleashed an unproven education program, resulting in our nation’s children becoming guinea pigs in an experimental program that could prove disastrous.  That is why concerned citizens throughout America are having meetings and conferences to educate other about Common Core problems to encourage state officials to enact legislation that would stop Common Core, or at the very least put a “hold” on the program until it can be proven the new system has merit, and to enact strong privacy laws that will protect both students and their families from invasive data mining.

Barack-obama-444 copy

By Nancy Thorner - 

Recently author Andrew McCarthy has been a guest on various Fox News shows, in addition to many appearances throughout the country promoting his new book, Faithful Execution,  At each event McCarthy weighs the political dynamics as he builds an impeachment case through assembling a litany of abuses that add up to one overreaching offense by the President, specifically, his willful violation of his solemn oath to execute the laws faithfully.

It is McCarthy’s contention that our elected representatives are duty-bound to take up the dare. This, however, is much easier said than done. The “why” will be covered later on.

The Heartland Institute had an overwhelming response to its noon time Author Series event that featured  McCarthy on Thursday, June 12 at The Heartland Institute library, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740 in Chicago.

McCarthy, as a nationally claimed author, is a prominent voice on security issues, specifically the threat of radical Islam in America. Books include: “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America” and “Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the jihad.” At the present time McCarthy is a senior fellow at the Foundation of Defense for Democracies and a columnist for the National Review. Previously he was the Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District in New York. Most famously McCarthy was the lead prosecutor in the trial against Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman and 11 other terrorists involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

When writing Faithless Execution, McCarthy admitted there came a time when he had to finish writing about Obama’s abuses of power. Summarily, McCarthy found himself a few events behind by the time the book was published. McCarthy was especially taken back by the Obama administration’s failure to abide by the National Defense Security Act which mandates a 30-day notification period to members of Congress before Gitmo prisoners can be released. Because of the failure to notify Congress about the details of the prisoner swap of five dangerous Gitmo terrorist in exchange for Sargent Bengdahl, this usurping of congressional authority is gaining more traction than have previous infractions of the law, most likely due to bi-partisan anger over the reckless exchange.

Violation of Presidential Oath

Why is the willful flouting of the law by President Obama so egregious and dangerous to this nation?  It should be evident that unchecked power in a single chief executive poses a serious threat to liberty.  Andrew McCarthy doesn’t take lightly, nor did he forget candidate Barack Obama’s promise back in October, 2008, when during a campaign rally Obama remarked that he was only “five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America

Time and again President Obama has blatantly elected not to follow the oath of office of the President of the United States, which is simple and concise and reads:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Instead of living up to that oath, President Obama has actively attempted to subvert, ignore, and completely destroy large parts of the Constitution.  It is all together reasonable to conclude that President Barack Obama is well aware of what he is doing and that his actions are completely intentional.  A further thought, just why shouldn’t Obama continue with his lawlessness?

So far the main stream media has given President Obama a free pass.  Furthermore, Obama’s past history places him as a devotee of Alinsky and his “Rules for Radicals” in his work in the 80′s as a community organizer in Chicago.  Rule No. 8 of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is definitely in play when considering Obama’s lawful actions and behavior as president.

Rule No. 8:  Keep the pressure on. Never let up. Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.) 

As suggested in Alinsky’s Rule No. 8, hit the public with one event after another to cause confusion.  Obama’s transgressions against the Constitution happen with such regularity, often with little daylight between them for reflection, that the American people have become overwhelmed and somewhat inoculated as to how to react when one lawless act follows another with little time elapsing to understand the previous one.  It doesn’t help that the public has such a short attention span, or that Obama is able to so masterfully divert blame from himself to another person or entity.

Impeachment as an option

As set forth by McCarthy, the Framers of our Constitution, because of concern over how placement of power in a single chief executive could lead to a rogue executive, vested in Congress two ways to deal with presidential excess:  1) Power of the purse, whose responsibility the current Republican-led House of Representatives has, for all practical purposes abdicated and 2) the power of impeachment.  These stand alone to check the president.   There are no other ways.

At the federal level, Article II of the United States Constitution (Section 4) states that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments.  Most of the framers knew the phrase “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” well. Since 1386 the English parliament had used “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the grounds to impeach officials of the crown

McCarthy believes that President Obama has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” through his abuse of power as a holder of high public trust.   Because of numerous infractions, Obama’s rampant lawlessness poses a systematic threat to our constitutional order, thereby making the case that Obama is unfit to continue in his role as president.  In comparing the campaigns to impeach President Nixon and Clinton to the call for President Obama’s impeachment, McCarthy describes Obama’s behavior as president “a willful, systematic attack on the constitutional system of separation of powers, an enterprise that aims to bring about a new regime of government by executive decree.”  In comparison, he Nixon and Clinton episodes involved misconduct that did not aim to undermine our constitutional framework.

Impeachable offenses cited by McCarthy

In Part 2 of “Faithless Execution” Andrew McCarthy builds the political case for President Obama’s impeachment by setting forth the broad range of his high crimes and misdemeanors and willful subversion of the Constitution by factoring in seven articles of impeachment:

1.  Refusal to Execute Laws Faithfully.

2.  Usurping Constitutional Authority.

3.  Dereliction of Duty as Commander in Chief.

4.  Fraud on the American People.

5.  Failure to Execute Laws Faithfully:  Immigration.

6.  Failure to Execute Laws Faithfully:  Department of Justice.

7.  Undermining the Constitutional Rights of the American People.

Impeachable offenses that fit under the above seven categories 

  • McCarthy cites the implementation of ObamaCare as one key aspect of a potential impeachment effort.  McCarthy asserts that Obama committed fraud on the American people by deliberately misleading voters in regard to his healthcare intention, which Obama continues to change at will whenever it suits him politically.
  • The botched gun-walking operation arming Mexican criminals is another scandal McCarthy believes rises to a level that meets potential impeachment proceedings.  According to McCarthy, Obama engaged in “systematic politicization of a Department of Justice that has covered up the Fast & Furious scandal.”
  • Through the appointment of a U.S. House select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, attempts are still being made to find out what happened the night of 9/11/2012.  The failure to provide adequate security was described by McCarthy as a “dereliction of duty” by Obama as commander in chief.  This was followed by the fraud of the video, rather than Islamic Supremacists, as the suggested entity responsible for the Benghazi massacre deaths of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others killed in a night of violence.
  • The president and his subordinates involved this nation in an unauthorized war in Libya that empowered jihadist enemies of the United States.  Furthermore, the purpose of the war was spun as an attempt to protect civilians, pursuant to a United Nations resolution, when the  real purpose was to overthrow the Libyan regime of Muammar Qaddafi, a government that had previously been portrayed as a key counterterrorism ally of the U.S.
  • The selective targeting of political opponents for harassment and abuse by the IRS occurred when Lois Lerner, who ran the Exempt Organizations division of the IRS, subjected Republican and conservative groups to heightened scrutiny.  McCarthy thought Lois Lerner should have been given immunity and is doubtful she will be prosecuted.  The latest wrinkle in the IRS scandal took place when it was recently reported that two years of e-mails had gone missing during a period when tea party groups were being targeted.   Sounds much like the dog ate my homework!
  • Obama’s immigration amnesty by executive edict is now indirectly responsible for the flood of children crossing the southern border from Guatemala and Honduras.  Acting over the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, Obama has conferred administrative amnesty on categories of illegal immigrants which he has unilaterally defined, undermining federal immigration laws and the constitutional authority of Congress to enact immigration law.
  • The American people were defrauded, including investors in the public securities exchanges, when President Obama and his subordinates willingly subsidized Solyndra with over half a billion taxpayer dollars despite obvious indication that the venture was not viable and would collapse.

Political trumps legality

Andrew McCarthy’s closing thoughts were somewhat sober in nature when he recounted why the impeachment of Obama, although warranted, would not help conservatives, Republicans or any elected official or individual who seeks to defend this nation’s constitutional framework.  Noted was how the case for impeachment is not the same as moving forward with articles of impeachment, although legally speaking a president may be impeached for a single offense that qualifies as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” whether it includes a breach of the profound pubic trust vested in the president, or a violation of his constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully.

Real impeachment can only occur if there is a public will to remove the president from office.  Even with a thousand impeachable offenses, impeachment is not an appropriate remedy absent a political consensus.  This said, all Americans should be concerned regardless of political affiliation.  Why is this so?  The lawlessness President Obama is getting away with today will be available to every future president unless checked.

McCarthy proposed in his book and during his talk what amounts to a concerted effort to change the political environment by bringing the issue of lawlessness front-and-center in public discourse. Through changing the political environment, mused McCarthy, Obama could be pushed to execute the laws faithfully through actions that fall within the bounds of the Constitution.  Given Obama’s leftist political philosophy and his determination to build his progressive legacy through fundamentally changing this nation, aided by the backing and financial support of George Soros and others, McCarthy’s musings seem little more than a pipe dream.

The only way to build a political case for impeachment it to make it clear to the American people that all have a stake in what happens to this nation, not only as it pertains to their present lives, but also how future generations will fare through Obama’s misguided policies of today.

Minus the public firmly on the side of impeachment, President Obama’s reckless abandonment of lawlessness and breaches of public trust will continue unchecked, assuring that both this nation and its people will reap little of substance.  Instead, mostly grief and a loss of liberty and freedom will result from the bitter seeds of progressive socialism Obama is sowing and will continue to sow throughout the remainder of his presidency if there is no outcry from the public otherwise.

Save this date:  Stephen Moore, Chief Economist with the Heritage Foundation, will give a dinner lecture on Thursday, July 17, at The Heartland Institute headquarters in Chicago at One South Wacker Drive, #2740.  He will speak about his new book:  “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States.”

Also of note is that from July 7-9, The Heartland Institute will be holding its 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information and to register for events, call 312/377-4000, or visit heartland.org.

 


When Illinois became a state in 1818, the Illinois Constitution allowed the state and local taxing districts to tax property in direct proportion to its value. The property tax is the largest single tax in Illinois, and is a major source of the tax revenue for local government taxing districts. Every person and business in Illinois is affected by property taxes whether by paying the tax or receiving services or benefits that are paid for by property taxes.

Anyone who attends public school, drives on roads or streets, uses the local library, has police protection, has fire protection services, or benefits from county services, receives services paid for, at least in part, by property taxes. Find here The Illinois Property Tax System: A general guide to the loyal property tax.

Regardless of which of Illinois’ 102 counties you live in, receiving your county’s tax bill is not an occasion one looks forward to. With this in mind, on Tuesday, June 10 the Northern Illinois Patriots featured at its monthly meeting at Austin’s Fuel Room in Libertyville: Martin Paulson, Lake County Tax Assessor and David Stollman, Lake County Board member and Republican candidate for Lake County Treasurer. Together they described the step-by-step process used to determine property tax bills and the trends of which all taxpayers should be aware.

Sales information and property data collection start in the Township Assessors’ Offices and occur also at the County and State level. Each level of government keeps records of transactions for determining individual property value and the collective township and country valuations. Property owners can appeal their assessments at each level, using either the actual recent purchase price of a property or sales of comparable properties that have occurred in the previous three years.

The Office of the Lake County Tax Assessor offers a Tax Advocate Program that is unique to Lake County. Property Tax Information is readily available for Lake County residents here. Its user-friendly site offers the ability to view videos, view all assessments and detailed parcel information for a township, and, most importantly, the ability to view comparable property assessments.

These important Property Tax Facts apply to all 102 Illinois Counties:  

  • The assessment process is used to determine each taxpayer’s overall share of the tax burden created by taxing bodies such as villages, schools, townships, park districts, etc.
  • Each taxing body determines the amount they need in property taxes, and that total is divided by the value of all the property in that taxing body’s jurisdiction.  That produces a tax rate, which is then applied to individual properties.
  • Unless taxing bodies reduce spending or lower their tax rate, tax bills will not change.  Taxing bodies are required to hold public hearings prior to adopting their tax levy.  Attending these meetings is important to have a say in the budget process.
  • Money can be saved by applying for homestead exemptions, etc.  Senior exemptions are applicable to all those who are 65 years of age.

The four Property Tax Facts listed above are self-explanatory. But as with all facts questions do arise which require further explanations, such as why the assessed value of a property may go up even though its market value has dropped. Many individuals don’t realize that assessed values are different from “property” or market” values. As township assessors are required by law to use sale prices from the last three years, the assessed value doesn’t necessarily reflect the current real estate market.

Following is a point-by-point summary of the Important information gleamed from the step-by-step presentation about Property Taxes at the Northern Illinois Patriots monthly June meeting:

1. It is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that the assessment is comparable to the assessments of similar properties in your area.

2. Application for any exemptions must be made by owners, if the homeowner’s exemption has not already been applied — a check of the assessment letter or tax bill will indicate what exemptions have been applied.

3. As mentioned previously, the only way taxes can be held in check is if budgets are reduced.  Each taxing body has a budget process and a hearing.  An alert public can insist on reductions in budgets.

4. A new 2013 law mandates that an appraiser cannot represent a petitioner before the Board of Review.  Although anyone can use an appraisal and appear on his own before the Board, it is not within an appraiser’s license to act as an advocate.  If one wants an advocate, then a lawyer must be hired.

5. Illinois has 7,000 units of local government, 40% more units of local government than in any other state, which has driven Illinois’ property tax burden to the second highest in the United States.  It’s past time to consolidate local government.

Any Lake County property owner who thinks that his property is not properly assessed can use the link provided to check that the details of his property are correct. In addition, he can also check for sales and/or assessed values of comparable properties to determine if his assessed value is fairly assessed. If either the details of his property are incorrect or the property is assessed higher than comparable properties, the owner should start at the Township Assessor’s Office for an appeal (when the assessment letter is mailed, the owner has 30 days to appeal). If unsuccessful there, an appeal may be made to the County Assessor’s office.  If unsuccessful there, an appeal may be made at the state level. The Lake County Assessor’s Office link also provides information on the appeal process.

As property taxes are necessary to provide for all services used and enjoyed, it is only right that this tax burden be shared. It is up to taxpayers, however, to make sure that tax bills do fairly reflect property values.

On Tuesday, July 8th, Northern Illinois Patriots will hold its annual fundraiser featuring Adam Andrzejewski, Open the Books Patriot of the Year recipient, at Austin’s, 481 Peterson Road, Libertyville, IL.  Visit this site for more information.