Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Snowden Speaks - Who Will Listen?

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow
Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC
One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.
This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013

Friday, March 08, 2013

Historic liberty letter returns to the Alamo after 177 years

“The Letter” has returned to The Alamo. This is the same letter Senator Ted Cruz read recently during Senator Rand Paul's historic anti-drone filibuster on the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo.
Texans need no further explanation, so they can stop reading now and go see it.
Renowned for its declaration of defiance against a tyrannical Mexican government, William B. Travis’ “Victory or Death” letter is easily one of the most celebrated documents in Texas history. This masterpiece of patriotism is world-famous in its appeal to all who love freedom from an oppressive government.
Penned during the siege on the Alamo in February 1836, it is addressed “To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world” as it pleaded on behalf of 100+ Texans for volunteer reinforcements in a dire situation against a Mexican Army that had gathered in the thousands.
Capt. Albert Martin carried The Letter on horseback across enemy lines under the cover of darkness. He tried desperately to rally troops to help in the fight, managing to return with less than 100 reinforcements, brave men who knew they were almost certainly going to fight to their deaths.
The Letter has not been back to the Alamo since it was written 177 years ago. It has, however, had an interesting journey. After its contents spread like wildfire around the United States and much of Europe during the early days of the sovereign Republic of Texas, The Letter itself made it back to the Travis family.
During a period of financial difficulty in 1893, William B. Travis’ great-grandson John G. Davidson asked the State of Texas if it would buy The Letter for $250. “They went back and forth on the price,” said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. “And the State ended up buying it for $85 — clearly a bargain.”
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/american-humor-texas-grit/2013/mar/5/historic-liberty-letter-returns-alamo-after-177-ye/#ixzz2MxtlO1RI Follow us: @patriotwriter @wtcommunities on Twitter

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gun Control's Sitting Ducks: Poor Californians Should Take a Cue from Texas

WASHINGTON, February 24, 2013 — Joe Biden’s shotgun home defense tips could go down in history as the most irresponsible comments in the 2013 gun control debate. The “fire blindly at scary shadows” tactic only works to craft your legal defense as to why you shot your lover through the bathroom door, or to explain why, as a law enforcement officer, you just shot an elderly woman delivering the newspaper.
Joe’s advice to his wife could very well get her killed. If she ever does manage to fire the double barrel .12 gauge shotgun “twice” at the scary noises in the woods, misses them, and they happen to be armed, poor Jill will be an easy target – especially if she is knocked unconscious by her weapon’s mighty recoil. Let’s all pray she never has to make that decision.
The common thread that runs through the gun control debate and these individual examples of firearms abuse is fear. A novice gun owner would fire upon an unidentified target if gripped with fear. The police shoot first and identify later when they are afraid for their lives and value their lives over yours. Gun control activists and lawmakers fight for increased restrictions because they are afraid they might be killed in their sleep by a burglar with an unregistered or scary-looking gun.
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/american-humor-texas-grit/2013/feb/23/targeting-gun-control-california-vs-texas/#ixzz2LsnbLqsF Follow us: @PatriotWriter @wtcommunities on Twitter

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Too Big to Care—Bank of America Serves Lawsuits, Not Customers

WASHINGTON, DC, February 10, 2013 — If the banking industry had a “biggest losers” award, Bank of America Corp. (B of A) would win – and that’s not a good thing.
B of A comes by its image problem honestly, and this may be the only way that “honesty” and “Bank of America” can be paired in a sentence without prompting laughter from bystanders. The company’s sins have been widely reported. B of A essentially crafts laws, much to the chagrin of its customers and taxpayers in general, that are protected in court by well-funded trial lawyers and enforced by the politicians they help keep in office.
The B of A recently received some wrist-slaps from a sluggish U.S. Justice Department over the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan “hustle” more than five years ago. That will bring little comfort to the masses of Americans who were defrauded during the nightmarish loan modification scam of 2011. In the five years between those scams, Bank of America received nearly $100 billion from taxpayers – an act of government largesse without precedent.
Read more: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/american-humor-texas-grit/2013/feb/10/too-big-care-bank-america-serves-lawsuits-not-cust/#ixzz2KtCo9Vwb
Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter
(This is my debut column at The Washington Times, a newspaper I have read regularly since I lived in The People's Republic of California! Please leave congratulatory comments here and read the rest of the story at WashTimes and comment there. Thanks!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Eyes Have It - Scripts & Tricks at Tampa RNC 2012

I blew into Tampa on Sunday night along with Hurricane Isaac and he promptly made a left turn. The RNC machine and Team Romney have proved a bit less accommodating. I was eager to compare RNC2012 to RNC2008——where the air was charged, the base was ecstatic over the Palin pick, and McCain was virtually ignored at his own coronation ceremony.
To christen my Florida trip, I grabbed a wheelchair in the airport and sat in it on the curb, awaiting my ride. The only thing I was missing was my own oxygen tank. After witnessing the "business" conducted at the convention Tuesday, I am convinced the establishment tools are sucking on some other type of gas.
While the MSM focuses on interviewing the balloon guy (See Fox News, Bill Hemmer) and the live coverage is dominated by pundits like Karl Rove and Bill Kristol who personify neo-conservativism, I observe and document what is really happening in Tampa. I have chosen a seat near the floor with a partial view of the stage and a full view of the teleprompter. That's how I saw the first pre-determined floor "vote" unravel. Contrary to Boehner's script, the "aye's" quite clearly did not have it.
The epic power grab the RNC pulled via rule change on delegate selection received some news coverage before the vote. This must have helped put party planners on the offensive. John Boehner presided over a convention that seems to have been planned like a war——the continued war within. With Monday's activities cancelled allegedly by Isaac, both sides had extra time to plan their attack. Strategy meetings convened in secret. I attended one held to galvanize grassroots leaders' efforts against the majority report of the Rules Committee. I was amazed at the level of intensity. This has nothing to do with securing the election for Romney and everything to do with ensuring the top spot can always be bought in the future.
In Tampa, delegations not unified for Romney, including Texas, were seated by the RNC as far away from the stage as possible. I am currently getting reports that grassroots champion Morton Blackwell's bus, along with the entire Virginia delegation, circled the arena until the Rules vote was over. Photos are surfacing of party insiders blocking delegates' microphones. Parliamentary procedure does not exist at this sham convention. Check out the resolution/Rules vote here at 1:00 and know that I personally saw the teleprompter read "The Aye's have it" BEFORE the delegation voted. (UPDATE: Just found this video on YouTube as proof.)
How did Team Romney and the RNC pull this off? Let me count the ways. Texas Republican Party Chairman Steve Munisteri's microphone was allegedly cut during the scripted Rules vote to prevent the delegation from calling for points of order or for a simple standing ("division") vote when the voice vote was obviously too close to call. Instead, massive screams from delegates for "Point of Order" were hijacked by insiders chanting "USA! USA!" In hindsight, these occurrences would make a fantastic study. Television audiences should be told that every time they heard the "USA" chants broadcast, it was to mask the voices of others. Such tactics were, in reality, as patriotic as The Patriot Act itself. As an American, I am embarrassed and saddened to see such Gestapo-style methods of suppression in my own country.
Texas National Delegate Jay Stang commented Monday on the proposed Rules change, "Anybody who has any sliver of independent thought or principle will be ejected as a delegate if they don't line up perfectly with the candidate. It's like a Stalinist purge." Keep in mind, national delegate selection occurs before the party has an official nominee. This will result in 100% support to nominate the front-runner, thereby making an RNC convention virtually unnecessary. Stang continued, "They'll get rid of anybody they don't like. So you would have a phenomenon where only the candidate's buddies, donors...would be delegates. There wouldn't be room for the grassroots."
Apparently the RNC is still not familiar with the CIA term "blowback"...for that is what they will get from this ultimate consolidation of power. Its army of doorknockers were just kicked out in the cold. Sure, they are consolidating the big money behind Romney and coaching donors how they can spread donations across state parties and the RNC in order to achieve six figure totals. If it is truly only about fundraising, Romney is in——and so are they. But at least half of the national RNC delegates this year walked away in disgust. What will be result? The GOP just slit its throat, disemboweled its base, all but ensured an Obama re-election, and hopefully a strong, limited government, pro-grassroots primary candidate in 2016.
Perhaps one of the most gratifying aspects of the convention is seeing the huge numbers of liberty delegates, stealth and declared, this year as compared to 2008. Legions of "stealth delegates" were coached by Team Romney people on how to frustrate the efforts of non-Romney delegates trying to speak or conduct business.
Politics is a crafty game, to be sure, and the stakes are high. This year it is so obviously Money vs. Ideology, they didn't even try to pretend otherwise. The "Death Tax" was discussed more than any other topic among elite Romney supporters. Prudent students of history will recognize the age-old pattern. When I get home, I plan to brush up on the French Revolution, maybe hit an oxygen bar or two, and try to recover from the "bread and circuses" stage show that was just fed to the world as a convention.
“Small men seeking great wealth or power have too often and too long turned even the highest offices of public service into mere personal opportunity.” - Barry Goldwater, 1964 RNC Nomination Acceptance Speech
“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” - Thomas Jefferson
More sources and explanations:
Maine Delegation Unseated/Romney Questioned
Boehner Booed
The GOP Can, Because You'll Take It

Monday, June 04, 2012

Bloated Bureaucracy is No Life Raft for California’s Sinking Ship

The so-called California Cancer Research Act up soon for a vote is a misnomer. According to the measure, funds collected from California taxpayers are allowed to be spent researching elsewhere, including other countries. In an already bankrupt state, the $735 million projected to be raised yearly by this new tax will not help balance the budget or do a thing to pay down the $10 billion deficit.
Thanks to a loophole spotted by the career politician behind this measure, it also defies California’s constitutional amendment requiring a portion of all new taxes go to schools. Cleverly, Proposition 29 will shortchange schools out of more than $300 million per year!
Proposition 29 provides for money to be wasted on government agencies completely unrelated to cancer research. The State Controller’s Office, the Secretary for Environmental Protection, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the Financial Information System for California will all get a piece of the bloated pie.
Furthermore, the proposition dedicates up to $110 million a year to be spent on new buildings and facilities when California already has the finest research facilities in the world! It also duplicates existing tobacco control programs by parroting what California has already funded, but adds clone organizations run by an entirely new set of bureaucrats.
Of course, an additional $22 million a year will go toward tobacco-related law enforcement, not crimes with real victims like murder, robbery, or rape.
Some of the provisions for the massive overhead written into this proposition include $15 million a year for six political appointees’ travel, benefits, and salaries. They will have the sole authority, with no oversight, to spend taxpayer money until the end of time.
This measure sets out to prove that it pays big to be a political appointee. Taxpayers pick up the tab for the meetings they attend. The CEO reserves the right to appoint other people (i.e. personal friends) with no oversight and pay their huge salaries, too. There is no limit for how large this bureaucracy can grow!
Perhaps the most sickening part of this maniacal proposition is that the state’s governor or legislature is forbidden to make changes or correct problems within the organization’s bloated, taxpayer-funded bureaucracy for 15 years—even in instances of blatant waste, fraud, and abuse.
If the proposition is approved by voters on June 5, the committee will be able to operate under its own rules, changing them as frequently as desired. The language of the measure explicitly states that grants can go to the organizations that employ the committee members! In an effort to address conflicts of interest issues, the measure plainly admits that it was created to accommodate conflicts of interest! Check it out at http://readforyourself.org
There are many reasons Californians should vote against Proposition 29. Its authors hope voters do not look past the childlike argument, “Cancer is bad. Tobacco is bad. Curing cancer is good.” A deeper look into the wording of the measure reveals its true intention—the same-old-same-old political backscratching that put California into bankruptcy in the first place.
To add insult to injury, the same guy who thought it would be a good idea to dump his fiancĂ©e, Sheryl Crow, when she was diagnosed with cancer is on the Board of Directors of this mess, California’s latest tax money laundering scam. Let’s hope the state’s voters wise up and vote against Lance Armstrong’s misleading Proposition 29.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Letter to Dewhurst's Crook-in-Chief

When you and I first met in 2005, you underwhelmed me with your calculated "insider" answers to my sincere questions. Since then, the ever-typical Dewhurst performed a knee-jerk reaction to a minor incident, installing cumbersome metal detectors at every Capitol building entrance. This is just one sign of his big-government-is-the-answer-to-any-little-problem-mentality. The Texas Capitol is crawling with fine people who have their own weapons concealed and who want them to remain that way. They carry for the safety of others. Metal detectors are asinine in that proud Texas building.
Furthermore, The Dew personally gutted our grassroots effort to get the TSA and the DOJ out of our traveling clothes in Texas. He has a lot of nerve running as a conservative. Dewhurst is out of touch with Texans because he has never been in touch! We see who he really is; no amount of money will win him this election. His time is up, thank goodness!
Please count me in to donate to Dewhurst's opponent's campaign. Also, please remove me from your mailing list. I am a vocal part of the anybody-but-Dewhurst campaign. Go Ted Cruz!