Stimulus Pork

Friends,
I just received an update on the “stimulus package.” I feel ill. Please go to Stimulus Watch and browse the site. You can click on your state and see what your city/state is slated for in thus “Porkulus” package. Just remember who has to pay for all of this pork; WE DO. Why is the federal government getting involved in local issues such as widening a street or a state highway? As I have said in past postings, I have found NO place in the constitution that authorizes the federal government to spend money on any of these types of projects.

This is just the spending side of the bill. It does not include the intrusion on your lives such as tracking all of your medical records on one national database. Part of this program is to weigh your age and the treatment you need to determine whether you will live long enough and be productive enough to warrant the treatment.

All of those Senators and Congressmen who voted for this legislation should, at the very least, be voted out of office and preferably forced to resign!

Your comments and discussions are welcome, as always.

Dan

The “Stimulus” Package

Friends,
The Congress has just passed the largest spending bill in our history. Let’s see what we get for our money, yes our money. However, I must digress to make sure we must understand how this system works. The basic premise is that if you borrow money, you have to pay it back. If you do not pay it back, someone who holds your collateral will call the debt. If you can’t pay it back the collateral is sized. OK, now that we have established the ground rules, we need to examine who is the borrower; who is the lender; who are the guarantors; how is this loan going to be repaid.

Who is the borrower? This one is fairly simple; it is the United States Congress and the President of the United States. Just as an aside, what are they borrowing money for? The stated purpose of the loan is to revitalize the United States economy and get people working again. Therefore, we need to examine the loan document to see where the money is going to be spent. Since the loan papers exceed 800 pages, I am not going to try to enumerate the whole package but rather give some representative examples.

$88 million to move the Public Health Service into a new building (what happened to Two Men and A Truck?)
$34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters
$1 BILLION (yes with a B) for the Census Bureau (which is now going to fall directly under the president’s chief-of-staff)
$89 BILLION for Medicaid
$2.4 BILLION for “neighborhood stabilization” activities (read ACORN bailout/beef-up)
1.2 BILLION for a summer youth program
36 BILLION to expand unemployment (don’t we already have enough people out of work?)

Ok, you should get the picture by now. This short list of just over $130 BILLION shows me no examples of getting our economy out of the doldrums and putting people back to work. Instead, it shows me a gross expansion of our government “nanny state” mentality, Keynesian economics at its absolute worse (but I think that is redundant).

Who is the lender? That is fairly easy when you examine who is buying all of our paper. It is mostly being bought by foreign entities that do not necessarily have the United States’ best interest at heart; in other words, potential enemies such as the Peoples’ Republic of China, and Saudi Arabia. These are not benevolent regimes. At some point they are going to call the note and force the United States to “pony-up the cash.” What has President Obama promised these folks? What sweet deals has he promised for these loans? Or is he so inept and naïve as to think these lenders are just out for our benefit?

Who are the guarantors of this loan and how is it going to be repaid? That one is easy too. The guarantors are you, me, our children, our grandchildren, and their grandchildren. The obligations that this congress and administration have made exceed the GDP of the United States for decades to come. All of this money can be paid back in 10 or 20 years if the federal government stops spending at the end of 2009 and only pays back the loan (yup, that is going to happen). Our federal government is worse than a herd of pigs that have just come off a 10 mile hike and discovered a new slop trough. They have the arrogance to believe that we are stupid and will never understand that this program is part of the president’s plan for redistribution of wealth. It is his plan to punish individualism, entrepreneurship, and initiative.

My question is “Where is the outrage, where is the righteous indignation from those rugged American individualists?” We hear from bloggers and Conservative commentators about how bad this “Stimulus Package” is for America but where is the indignation coming from our congressmen and senators? We see unanimous negative votes from Republican congressmen, and that is laudable, but where is the screaming and shouting from the highest buildings across this land calling for a popular campaign against this federal government gorging?

The only way we are going to take back our country is for grassroots organizations such as the Coalition for a Conservative Majority to grow and work from the bottom up to change the mindset that has become prevalent in Washington. If the average citizen does not stand up for our rights then we will get what we deserve.
I urge everyone reading this to pass it along and go to www.ccmajority.org to see what you can do.

As always I welcome your comments and discussion.

Dan

Data Doesn’t Back Obama on Warming

Friends,
The article below was originally published in the Colorado Springs Gazette. The guest columnist is Andres Pico whose work you have seen numerous times on these pages.

As always, you comments and discussions are welcome.

Enjoy,
Dan

Data Doesn’t Back Obama on Warming

ANDRES PICO, GUEST COLUMNIST

Our new president starts his historic administration with a stated climate change policy to obstruct domestic energy production of coal and oil and an assembled team of socialist and anti-energy zealots to implement this policy. Despite growing evidence the climate change hysteria is based on manipulated science without a solid basis or consensus, despite a constant propaganda campaign that claims both, the stated policies of the new administration and its team is dedicated to fighting climate change.

Fighting climate change is a chimera designed to hide a false political agenda intended to implement centralized economic planning in the socialist/collectivist model. The actual science and documented annual reporting of climate results for the year just concluded do not, however, support the premise which calls into question the wisdom and rationality of such a drastic remaking of our economy. To embark on such a course with severe economic costs and penalties during a time of economic stress would be particularly ill advised.

And yet, President Barack Obama says, “Few challenges facing America – and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.” In fact, the global and regional temperatures have declined sharply since the spring of 2007. This past year was the coldest since 2000 with eight of the past 10 years warmer and less than a half of a degree above the long term average according to NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.txt) which reports the warmest temperatures of all of the reporting agencies based largely on station data. The GISS reported sea surface temperatures show no warming trend over the decade and a clear downward trend (data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/Fig2b.gif). Satellite measurements from RSS and UAH of the lower troposphere, which according to the green house gas theory of global warming should be warmer, are even lower at less than 2 tenths of a degree above the long term average and the lowest of this century. (vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt)
The president continues; “Sea levels are rising.” In fact, sea levels stopped rising several years ago and have leveled off. (sealevel.colorado.edu/current/sl_noib_ns_global.pdf)
The president digs deeper; “We’ve seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.” Hurricanes are in fact dropping in numbers and the intensity is no higher than the long term norms according to the NOAA hurricane experts. Famines are spreading less because of any climate change but more because of the large subsidized push for bio-fuels as a substitute for domestic drilling of oil which has caused the brutal starvation of tens of millions of the poor and disadvantaged across the world, this policy having been advocated by the party that alleges to stand for the little guy.

The supposedly shrinking ice caps are not. The fevered cries about an ice-free Arctic in 2008 fell short since the ice extant at the ice minimum was substantially above that of 2007. Actual ice coverage in the Arctic is only slightly below normal overall, but in the 14 regions measured (arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/), only five are actually below normal with the other nine at or above normal levels. While oil exploration in the Arctic Chukchi Sea is being blocked by environmentalists to save ice habitat for the polar bear, that region and the Bering Sea are well above the ice levels over the period of satellite measurements.

The Antarctic is above normal levels and has shown a long term trend of above average ice coverage.

Climate change hysteria is hijacked science being used to promote a false political agenda of greater government control over industry and central economic planning. This model of government intervention has failed everywhere it’s been tried.
Our new president proclaims that we need “a new declaration of independence,” evidently a new independence from facts, real science, truth, economic prosperity and freedom.

Dr. James Hansen, who directs the NASA GISS and has personally accepted close to $1 million in outside “contributions” to corrupt official government climate data in support of this scientific fraud, recently declared that Obama has only four years to solve the climate crisis.

But that deadline is actually because the evidence of continued declines in global temperatures in line with the predictions by those of us who point out the solar connection to terrestrial climate, will become so obvious that no one, not even an incompetent and complicit press, will be able to continue the scam, and the swindlers will be explaining what the funds spent for carbon credits actually bought.

Pico, of Colorado Springs, is a retired Navy commander, naval flight officer and economist.

The States Say “Enough”

Friends,
It seems that there are some states that are saying “enough is enough” to the federal government. In a resolution introduced last week, the New Hampshire legislature has taken the nearly unprecedented step to remind the federal government

That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations, slavery, and no other crimes whatsoever; . . . . . therefore all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force….

What crimes may we be talking about? Anything that does not fall under those listed above such as drug laws, gun control laws, and kidnapping laws to name a few. Many of the crimes Congress has identified are, indeed, crimes that need to be punished. However, I have been able to find no place in the Constitution where Congress and the president are given authorization to make such declarations. Under the 10th Amendment, these determinations are left up to the states and therefore their citizens.

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

Looking at Article I. §8, there are numerous areas of control given to Congress such as; borrowing money; regulating commerce between the US and foreign nations, and the states; establishing citizenship requirements, etc., but none of the specific crimes that have been set down by Congress and signed by the presidents appear. My Constitutional Guru, Mr. Ric Morgan, Esq. has informed me that most of these laws are justified under the Commerce Clause, Art I §8(3) which states that the Congress shall have the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes….” I have to tell you that I have twisted my head every which way and the connection with many of the laws passed still seems pretty thin. Quoting Mr. Morgan:

Under the Commerce Clause, since the mid-1930’s, federal power has incrementally extended to reach a myriad of far-flung issues that are only vaguely connected to interstate commerce by the most tendentious logic. Prior to the 1930’s, all of those issues had been firmly within the States’ control under Constitutional interpretations of the previous hundred and forty years.

These current standards defining the federal reach under the Commerce Clause are set forth in the 1995 Supreme Court case of Lopez v US, which was the first case in over sixty years to set any limits on the exercise of federal authority under the Commerce Clause.

In Lopez, an eighteen year-old miscreant and high school senior was caught carrying a .38 cal handgun on school grounds in San Antonio, Texas. He was tried and convicted under the federal “Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990”, which banned guns within 1000 feet of a school.

Lopez challenged the federal law on constitutional grounds, claiming that there is no federal authority to reach so far into the realm properly belonging to the States. The federal government defended on Commerce Clause grounds, claiming that carrying of firearms in a school zone would 1) lead to crime, which 2) frighten citizens, which would 3) inhibit travel, which 4) would lead to a weaker economy, and 5) was therefore related to interstate commerce and subject to the Commerce Clause. In the 1995 Lopez decision delivered by Chief Justice Rehnquist, the court held that government’s logic was too strained, the association to interstate commerce was unsupported by any facts, and “there must always be an outer limit to federal power”.

But the government lost in Lopez based on the same tenuous logic that serves to justify thousands of other federal laws.

Since I started working on this Discourse an article in World Net Daily has been brought to my attention. It can be seen here. In the article they point to eight states, including New Hampshire, that have introduced similar resolutions and the potential for 20 more states to follow suit. Many of these states are pointing to the “stimulus” package and are putting their collective feet down on unfunded government mandates.

As many of you know, I have a deep concern for any abuse or subversion of the 2nd Amendment but there is an ever growing body of evidence of the systematic subversion of all of our rights by the federal government. Over the years, there have been steady steps, some large and some small, by various factions at the federal level to take our freedoms. However, the recent election cycle has emboldened numerous disparate groups to work together and put together what is being touted as a “stimulus” package. For many states, this is the last straw. We may be seeing the start of a significant push-back to this ever increasing trend of the federal government.

As always, I welcome your comments and discussion.

Dan
PS: Happy Birthday, Nick

Special Prayer for the Inauguration

Friends,
Below is a prayer offered by our pastor, Lance Gentry, on the Sunday after President Obama was inaugurated. I feel that this powerful prayer needs to be shared and prayed often. It needs no further comment.
Dan

Father God,
We come before you this morning with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for the country we live in and for the freedoms we possess. We thank you that we are free this morning to assemble and worship in accord with your Word and in harmony with our consciences without the threat of great persecution. We pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in countries where they do not have this great freedom and where they live in constant threat because of their faith in Jesus Christ. So we pray for our fellow Christians in countries like China, N. Korea, Vietnam, Sudan, and Morocco. Strengthen, encourage, and protect our brothers and sisters in Christ we pray.

We thank you too for the peaceful transition of power that we all witnessed this past week. That no blood was shed as our country installed and recognized its new leader and commander-in-chief. We know that you are Sovereign and that no leader ever gains a position of authority without your putting them there. We thank you that whatever our circumstance and whoever may be in authority over us, our trust and confidence can always be in You.

With that in mind Lord, we pray for our new President, Barak Obama and ask that you would grant Him great wisdom as he leads our nation through difficult days. We thank you that in his election we witnessed such a significant milestone along the road to racial equality in our culture, a culture where racial equality has not always been valued. We pray for his safety and that you would protect the Obama family from harm.

Lord we also know that the king’s heart is like channels of water in your hand, and so we pray that you would change President Obama’s heart on the issue of abortion. We pray that he would see the sanctity of all human life and that he would not seek to expand abortion policies that will result in more and more killing of innocent human beings. If his heart does not change, then we pray that you will obstruct his plans and cause his proposed policies to go down in defeat. We pray for the end of abortion. We ask this for the sake of the voiceless, the helpless, and the weak.

Lord grant us as the people of God a gracious spirit; a spirit that seeks to honor our President and speak of him with respect, even while we may disagree with his policies. Remind us that he is our President by your divine design, and that to disrespect him, is to disrespect You. May we be a people who are known for supporting our leaders in prayer and submitting to them in the fear of the Lord.

Thank you Lord that our hope is in you. That you are on the throne. That your ways are perfect. May we rejoice in the true knowledge of our glorious Lord and Sovereign King, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Cabinet Postings (5)

Friends,
This is the fifth in a series on President Obama’s cabinet picks. Today I am going to look into our own former senator from Colorado, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. When I started researching Secretary Salazar to see what his stances were on different issues, I had both good and bad fortune. First, I have a lot of emails from him in the form of newsletters and replies to concerns about which I have emailed him. The not-so-good part about this is that he said very little of substance in any of them.

In June of 2007, I contacted him concerning the illegal immigration reform act that was being debated in the Senate. This act provided an amnesty path for illegals. I pointed out that the first part of the salutation for these people was “illegal.” If I fail to pay my taxes, where is the bill before Congress to allow me to get off Scott-free? However, Senator Salazar advocated passage of this deeply flawed piece of legislation, masking the amnesty issue with platitudes like “secure the borders, strengthen and enforce our immigration laws” and the best one “provide a realistic solution for the 12 million undocumented workers in our country.” An undocumented worker is a euphemism for illegal aliens. Fortunately, the cry raised from the American public was so loud that they had no choice but to defeat the bill. In an email a couple of days later (5 Jul 2007) he stated that he was “disappointed that the immigration reform legislation failed to pass the U.S. Senate….” This is just one example of how Mr. Salazar is on the wrong side of America.

Moving on, in his newsletter of 27 July 2007, he proudly announced his pleasure at the passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) from the Senate Finance Committee. Please do not misunderstand me on this issue. With six grandchildren and one on the way, I want to see every child healthy and have access to health care whenever needed. However, in my extensive look through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I was unable to find anything like “any or all segments of American society shall have government supplied access to health care.” In fact, I was so concerned about this issue I went to the Founders’ writings to see what they said about the issue. The closest I could find was in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The key word here is “pursuit” of happiness, presuming that if you are healthy, you are happy, or at least closer to it than if you are unhealthy. I was able to find no provision in the Constitution for the U.S. Government to pay for social programs. I contend that the more hand-outs are given, the more the recipients will want. We have already begun down this slippery slope and stopping this descent should be a priority if we are going to survive as a nation. However, I digress. The issue at hand is Mr. Salazar.

In another email I received from him, Senator Salazar noted his support for the DREAM Act. This act would have offered a path of legalization for illegal children who had been going to U.S. schools and progressing well in their studies. Once again, Mr. Salazar was on the wrong side of the American public and the Constitution. Fortunately, this bill was defeated under the leadership of Senator Sessions of Alabama. The problem is that this fight should have been led by a dynamic leader from Colorado. My guess is that there are more illegals in Colorado than Alabama.

In his 23 October 2007 newsletter, Senator Salazar notes his support for the Renewable Fuels, Consumer Protection and Energy Efficiency Act of 2007. Personally, I support any effort to advance technology in alternative fuels. The more we work and study on technologies such as solar, wind, hydrogen, etc. the more efficient and inexpensive they will become. (I do not support growing crops for fuel; but that is another discussion.) This is just the natural progression. I also advocate the reduction in the use of dependence on all petroleum products; however it must be done in an intelligent way. Colorado has a huge repository of oil shale and other petroleum products. At a time (2007) when energy prices were skyrocketing, it was time to begin “Drill Now, Drill Here, Pay Less” as Newt Gingrich would say. In fact it was 10 years past time, but the Democrats refused to allow that to happen. The result was witnessed last year when we were pumping $4.00+ gas.

I have only gone through about one year’s worth of Mr. Salazar’s communications with me and have just barely scratched the surface. Suffice it to say that President Obama has certainly chosen another Cabinet officer who is unfit to serve the American public. Looks like the president’s choices are living down to his track record.

As always, I welcome your discussion and comments.

Dan

Cabinet Postings (4)

Friends,
This is the fourth in a series looking at President Obama’s cabinet picks.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (DCI)

While this is not a cabinet post, it is arguably of near equal importance. President Obama has tapped Leon Panetta for this crucial job. Having come out of the Intelligence community in my former life, I think I have a fair idea of the requisite qualifications for this position.

Above all, the incumbent should have a solid working knowledge of the Intelligence Community, preferably by having worked in the field for a number of years. The incumbent must be a manager with extreme talent for coalition building, not coalitions of foreign countries, but coalitions within his own agency. Intelligence professionals tend to be very independent with delving minds. Whoever leads this agency will have to be able to have or develop an understanding and appreciation of the Intelligence Process as well as the Intelligence Professional very early into the job. Anyone who moves into the job with the intention of changing the agency right off the bat may as well try to move Mt. Rushmore.

I believe that changing the CIA is possible, but only if the case for the need for change is made strongly enough that all personnel within the agency understand the need and assist in that change. Otherwise, attempting to change such an organization staffed with long-term professionals will be a useless and frustrating venture. Mr. Panetta has been highly critical of the agency for some time. This makes me think that he has a predetermined agenda that he will be taking to his new job if he is confirmed.

Those are my going-in thoughts. Let’s look at the DCI designee and see how he fits the bill. We will start by looking at his biography. He went into the Army in 1964 as a second lieutenant and was discharged as a first lieutenant in 1966. I seem to recall some kind of disturbance in Southeast Asia around that time; however I found no reference to that event in Mr. Panetta’s biography. While he was in the Army he was the chief of operations and planning of intelligence at Fort Ord. He is a Distinguished Scholar in the California State University System, lecturing on public policy at Santa Clara University. He worked as an assistant to Republican Senator Thomas Kuchel and HEW secretary Robert Finch before being elected to the House of Representatives, as a Democrat, where he served from 1977 to 1993. His focus in the House seemed to be budget, social, and environmental issues. He was tapped to serve as President Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1994 until 1997. For the last 10 years he and his wife have served as Directors of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy.

During his time in Congress he held four chairman positions, none of which had anything to do with Intelligence. Except for these chairman positions and the one chief of staff position, I was able to find no managerial or leadership experience. I do not consider two years as a second lieutenant in charge of operations and planning of intelligence at a state-side Army base as appropriate leadership experience to qualify him for DCI; although, he has had more managerial experience than President Obama.

Concerning this appointment I have a couple of questions for the president. If Mr. Panetta is so qualified for the position of DCI, why did you feel it necessary to apologize to Senator Feinstein for making the selection? You are now the presumptive leader of the free world. Why are you not acting like it? There seems to be a severe lack of confidence in your leadership style.

As always, I welcome your comments and discussion.

Dan