8/20/2014

The insanity of of Ferguson Missouri

Via-BBN


When self-serving narratives replace facts you end up with the insanity of Ferguson Missouri


Ferguson Police|Photo Credit IBD
Ferguson Police|Photo Credit IBD
Whatever the circumstances or wherever the blame, the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri is a tragedy. Anytime a young person is taken from the world it is always sad because no one knows what we have lost. Even given the circumstances surrounding his death which would seem to point to a future life of trouble, we cannot know what lie ahead for this young man either good or bad and now we never will and that is tragic.
It is entirely possible that the six foot four, two hundred and seventy pound eighteen year old was just sewing some unpleasant youthful seeds when he strong armed a diminutive store owner and stole some Swisher Sweets from the local store. As a neighbor observed  "When you're growing up in a rough situation, everybody makes mistakes." It is possible that if arrested and sent through the "system" he may have seen the errors of his ways and changed paths. Or he might have continued down a road of crime growing more jaded and ruthless. We shall never know and that is tragic.
What we do know is that everything surrounding Michael's death is nothing short of insanity and any memory of the young man will now be shrouded in controversy and acrimony.  Every year thousands of black men die on the streets of our cities and false narratives  aside, the majority die not because they are black, but just like Michael Brown they are engaged in some criminal activity.  Those who would have you believe that being black is an excuse for criminal activity not only do an injustice to society they demean the African-American community.
Is strong arming a few cigars worthy of a death sentence? Of course not, but that is probably not what happened here at all.
If police Officer Darren Wilson was the type of person to administer such "racist" not to mention criminal justice on the streets he patrolled he did so with nary a complaint or a reprimand or any other sign that he was somehow capable of such atrocious behavior. Yet part of the insanity surrounding Michael's death is that from the beginning a large segment of the community a national media, politicians and activist provocateurs were willing to assign such characteristics to another relatively young man (28) who for days they did not know and after his identity was released, his background ignored.
There exists a video that we have all seen that clearly shows the current character and hostile nature of Michael Brown just minutes prior to his death which for some reason under the social narrative being established we are asked to ignore. Instead we are to believe the story of Brown's accomplice in the robbery, Dorian Johnson's version of events.  All the while the fact that Wilson suffered facial fractures during his brief encounter with Mr. Brown is not released to the public because in the world of criminal justice as opposed to that of narrative formation, evidence is gathered and analyzed before it is released.
One of the "facts" of Dorian Johnson's "eye-witness" account which we now know is untrue is that Brown was shot in the back. Here is one of the inflammatory accusations Johnson made about the events of the day which became part of the popular narrative as told by MSNBC.
Brown made it past the third car. Then, “blam!” the officer took his second shot, striking Brown in the back. At that point, Johnson says Brown stopped, turned with his hands up and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!”
Then according to Johnson and MSNBC, Officer Wilson then executed Michael Brown in broad daylight on the streets of Ferguson Missouri.
By that point, Johnson says the officer and Brown were face-to-face. The officer then fired several more shots. Johnson described watching Brown go from standing with his hands up to crumbling to the ground and curling into a fetal position.
Not only are we supposed to accept this version, everyone from protesters on the street to NFL football teams are mimicking this image of Michael Brown with his hands in the air pleading for mercy while the ruthless policeman guns him down. This version told to the world by a man who had just been involved in a robbery and who has an outstanding arrest warrant for robbery.
We do not know all that transpired August 9th on the streets of Ferguson but what we do know is this, Dorian Johnson lied. Michael Brown was not shot in the back, and unless Wilson was standing on a step-ladder he did not shoot Brown while standing "face to face"  with the young man since the bullet that probably killed Brown entered the top of his skull and there were no powder burns.
We also know that Michael Brown smoked pot and had some in his system at the time of his death. Did this contribute to the situation? Possibly, despite the attempts to downplay this fact, whether or not marijuana use makes you more "aggressive" or not, the one thing it does do is alter the user's perceptions of reality, that after all is why people use it.  We don't know yet how "high" Brown was at the time but what we do know is that getting high was very much a part of his young life.
He was heavyset and quiet, but not shy. He recorded rap music with his best friend and smoked marijuana with other young men.
Is the death of Michael Brown tragic? Of course it is,no person should die before his time over such  minor infractions both of which I participated in at his age,  smoking marijuana with other young men and shoplifting. But again I was never confronted on the street by a policeman immediately after "strong arming" a convenience store clerk.  But Michael Brown was and the question is or should be, not just what did Officer Wilson do but what did Michael Brown do.
Regardless of what Wilson knew or did not know, young Michael Brown who was about to attend technical school to study heating and air conditioning, knew he had just robbed a store and had smoked marijuana recently. Michael Brown knew that if arrested all his hopes and dreams for a future were in serious jeopardy. Michael Brown knew that his meeting with Officer Wilson was a life changing experience and not a positive one.  Officer J.D.Tippit did not know what the pedestrian  had done but Lee Harvey Oswald knew.
The insanity of Ferguson Missouri is not just that a young African-American man has died way to young for a relatively small violation of the law. It is also that so many people are willing to excuse that infraction as being unimportant to the events which led to his death. The insanity is that so many people in today's society would rather take a known thief's word as the truth and promote it as the truth  rather than let the facts reveal themselves over time.
The insanity of of Ferguson Missouri is that lies are accepted and woven into a narrative which only seeks to divide Americans along racial lines. Whatever other problems there are in this suburb of St. Louis and it seems there are many, they will not be solved by promotion of lies and false narratives. Those tactics always lead to even more pain and suffering not healing which is proving out in Ferguson.



8/03/2014

Obamacare – Progressive government at its best: a tax question

Via-BBN

If ever there was a poster child for the corruptible nature of big government as practiced by progressives, it is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Obamacare signing ceremony|Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons
Obamacare signing ceremony|Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons

This is the first of a series on the history of Progressive’s greatest triumph -  Obamacare

Its very name, whichever version you choose, belies the corrupt nature of big government. Its given name is pure propaganda because it is neither affordable nor does it improve care for the majority of Americans. Even if its convoluted unsustainable subsidy system provides more affordable care to a small part of the citizenry, it does so by being unaffordable for the nation as a whole. Ironically, like much of the left’s applied ideology, it actually undermines one of the  tenants of collectivism by hurting the many for the few.
If you choose the more popular “Obamacare” nameplate, that too is a lie. Obama neither drafted the law or for that matter ran for president by endorsing its key components. In fact, during his hope and change campaign he was extremely critical of what became Obamacare’s most contentious component: the mandate.
Obama said, “A mandate means that in some fashion, everybody will be forced to buy health insurance.” Instead of going that route, his plan, he said, “emphasizes lowering costs.”
Obama held that position throughout the campaign. Elect Hillary, he said, and the government will compel you to buy health insurance. Elect me, and I’ll give you lower costs and let you keep your freedom.
One Obama TV ad drove the point home: “Hillary Clinton’s attacking, but what’s she not telling you about her health care plan? It forces everyone to buy insurance, even if you can’t afford it, and you pay a penalty if you don’t.”
How could Obama so forcefully take one position on an issue to be elected; then as president, use all of his political power to advocate for that position which just months before he had so adamantly opposed? For this president, as an arch-progressive politician, that is just how you play the game.  A lie to “progress” your agenda is all that matters; as that is what progressivism is, progressing the agenda regardless of the methods used.
Every step of the way, Obamacare was and remains a textbook example of progressivism’s lies and manipulation.  It is both fitting and ironic that Obamacare is officially entitled an “Act” and not a law. Just as King George and his parliament passed acts which imposed duties upon the reviled colonists, Obama and his congress passed an “Act” upon the American people despite persistent and continued opposition.  As opposition to Obamacare continues, it might be beneficial to recall  how progressives imposed this “Act” on Americans and how their strategies corrupted – and continues to corrupt – our constitutional form of government.

The tax that is not, then is

In 2009 the House of Representatives unanimously passed the “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009” and sent it over to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  (D-NV) used this uncontroversial and totally unrelated House Bill as a vehicle  for the Senate Healthcare Bill by attaching the Finance committee’s bill to it as a 3,000 page amendment.
The ramification of this parliamentary shenanigans is still being played out in the courts. Chief Justice Roberts in his infamous ruling declared Obamacare constitutional as tax legislation rather than the regulatory legislation it was sold and passed as being under the Commerce Clause. Due to this particular deception it is still being contested in courts as a violation of the Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.
Anyone who followed the debate at the time is fully aware that what we know as Obamacare came directly out of the Senate first and then went to the House. The famous “Cornhusker Kickback” the “Louisiana Purchase” and a host of other deals which Reid used to get sixty votes all occurred before Nancy Pelosi got her hands on the bill – so obviously the bill “originated” in the Senate.
In what is one of the greatest examples of public deception and parliamentary terrorism, the Democrats and Obama vehemently denied that Obamacare was a tax, both to keep Obama’s campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class and to keep up the charade of adhering to constitutional constraints. ....

7/28/2014

Unimpeachable-Republican establishment’s great failure

Via-BBN


The Republican establishment is more afraid of impeachment talk than the White House and that says as much about their failure as Obama’s.


Photo Credit|Wiki Commons
Photo Credit|Wiki Commons
Impeachment is in the news again not because anyone is seriously considering impeaching Obama since it is numerically and politically impossible for it to happen, but because it makes for a good political show.
Most of the current round of impeachment “talk” has centered around the narrative that the Democrats are just trying to gin up their base for the mid-terms in November and as usual the Republicans play right into the Democrats’ hands by immediately rejecting the idea that they would ever do such a thing. Putting aside any constitutional or legal arguments for impeachment, by taking it off the table politically the Republicans are doing what Obama does when he announces that the United States won’t put “boots on the ground” in any of the growing list of hotspots around the world.  The Republicans, like Obama, are announcing before hand that they will not use the biggest weapon in their arsenal.
Of course for their own political benefit, Obama and the Democrats can’t allow the Republicans to cave so easily
Don’t dismiss the possibility of the House of Representatives bringing articles of impeachment against President Obama, senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said today.
Of course Pfeiffer and the White House want the possibility of impeachment to be kept in the news; they think it helps them politically. Despite that John Boehner and his surrogates have repeatedly stated that this particular constitutional tool will never be taken out of the tool box against this president, the Obama team keeps threatening themselves with it to keep the narrative alive. It reminds me of the “Blazing Saddle” scene where the new black sheriff points his own gun at his head and threatens to shoot unless the townspeople put down their weapons. Like the townspeople in the movie, the GOP immediately puts down their weapons. This current comedy though is not fiction.
But is there more to the White House tactic than motivating the Democratic base?  Of course there is, if the progressive left is known for anything it is creative and multifaceted duplicity.  After all, these are the same people who  gave us the “if you like your insurance you can keep it,” formula for national healthcare, knowing that the key to their success (power) is just progressing their agenda until past lies are supplanted by new lies.
So what is their alternative motive for keeping the impeachment narrative going?
He [Pfieffer] went on to say that the executive actions being considered by the White House on immigration would probably “up the likelihood” of impeachment, making the point that lawmakers such as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, already have said the president is violating the law with his unilateral moves on immigration.
What they are actually doing is setting the stage for even greater abuses of  executive power in the next two years and painting any Republicans that might oppose them as “fringe.”  This task is made easier by establishment Republicans who join the chorus singing from the no impeachment song book. No matter what further abuses occur, the Republican establishment has let it be known that they will not pull the impeachment arrow from their quiver.
So in the coming years, if Obama should unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of illegals or fly in refugees from Central America or a dozen other executive actions that Obama and the progressives would like to enact while they hold the reins of power, what will the Republicans do, sue him? Oh yeah they are already doing that, to what end? Even if a federal court agrees to hear the case, doubtful, and even if a court agrees that Obama is abusing his executive powers what will be the remedy, arrest him? Boehner’s lawsuit will never stop Obama from doing what he damned well pleases and Republicans better accept that reality.
This is the problem with caving to incremental changes to constitutional constraints; pretty soon there aren’t any. A president or a party just ignores the laws and since politics and parties now trump country and fidelity to the constitution, basically anything goes.
The reason Boehner and the establishment are taking impeachment off the table has nothing to do with a constitutional argument but with the “politics” of it. The issues which Boehner are using to sue Obama for are arguably impeachable offenses. If arbitrarily changing or refusing to enforce laws is not impeachable then what is? It is not even that Obama is claiming that these laws are unconstitutional - that would be justifiable – his actions and decrees are in his own words, meant to “bypass congress.” If a president is permitted to bypass congress for his own political or policy goals and by doing so he is violating clear constitutional limits on his authority then that is obviously a grounds for impeachment. As Hamilton explained inFederalist Paper #66.
 An absolute or qualified negative in the executive upon the acts of the legislative body, is admitted, by the ablest adepts in political science, to be an indispensable barrier against the encroachments of the latter upon the former. And it may, perhaps, with no less reason be contended, that the powers relating to impeachments are, as before intimated, an essential check in the hands of that body upon the encroachments of the executive. 
If I were a judge hearing the Boehner case against Obama, I would just read that passage and ask the lawyers from congress, “why are you bothering me with this, you have your own constitutional remedy for this.” Only impeachment and conviction can solve the problem by removing the president from office – what will a court do? Tell Obama to play nice?
It is all just a sideshow but a dangerous sideshow since, knowing that impeachment is off the table, Obama can go forward abusing his authority with increasing  boldness, which he has as much as said he is going to do.  The Republican establishment has not only removed their most effective weapon to reigning in Obama, they have invited him to carry out even greater harm to the checks and balances necessary to maintain our system of government.
The idea seems to be that Obama and his progressive allies will at some point play by the rules, but they never have and have no intention of ever doing so and worse, they are always two steps ahead of the Republicans.  An example would be Harry Reid’s using the nuclear option to undo the filibuster when it comes to executive nominations. This allowed them to pack the DC Circuit with their cronies, virtually assuring that progressive legislation will now receive a nod from the second highest court in the land. The idea that progressives will suddenly adhere to the constitution and not find methods to circumvent it is childish naivety.
If impeachment is off the table due to political reasons, which it probably is, the reason is that the Republicans – with few exceptions – have failed to clearly and forcefully explain to the American public the danger that progressivism is to our constitutional republic. They have failed to be an opposition party to a movement which is on the verge of destroying that republic and worse, they have undermined those who seek to protect the nation from elitist tyranny and crony capitalism.
There is almost no chance that a political case will be made to impeach Obama, not because there is no case, but simply because the Republican Party has utterly failed to protect the constitution of the United States against progressive inroads.  Whether this trend can be reversed is doubtful; but it certainly can not be reversed when the GOP as an institution not only fails to articulate a vision but seems to want to  join the progressive cause in marginalizing those who want to defend that constitution.

6/01/2014

Conflict of interest, the economy versus global warming agenda


The Obama administration blames U.S. economic downturn on severe winter while pushing global warming agenda

Global Warming engulfs The White House|Photo Credit Wiki Media Commons
Global Warming engulfs The White House|Photo Credit Wiki Media Commons
It is natural that this should happen since liberalism as practiced by the modern Democratic Party has become a never-ending balancing act of trying to enact leftist agenda driven policies to solve imaginary problems. So it is not surprising that the imagined world of the left to the real world awaits only a peek behind the curtain to be exposed. That being the case there still has seldom been such an obvious conflict in liberal orthodoxy as that which is taking place in the upper levels of the U.S. Government.
In order to deflect attention away from the Obama Administrations many failure and scandals while simultaneously ginning up support from an influential and powerful segment of the Democratic base, environmentalists, the administration has made a big push on climate change policy, aka global warming.
Starting with the release of the National Climate Assessment, Obama and his administration have begun a new push to warn Americans of the terrible threat facing us due to global warming. In speeches, in regulation proposals, and in threatened “executive actions the administration has hyped the global warming agenda.
Meanwhile, it was announced on Thursday that the nation’s first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) had been revised down into negative territory, -1%. The reason given for this bad news?
“Overall the first quarter was subject to a number of notable influences, including historically severe winter weather, which temporarily lowered growth,” said Jason Furman, head of the Council of Economic Advisers. “
This of course is in direct contradiction to the theory of global warming which predicts that winters are going to be warmer. In fact the second paragraph of the Overview of that much touted National Climate Assessment states
Winters are generally shorter and warmer. 
Well, except when they are not in which case harsh winters are a good cover for a shrinking economy brought on by Democratic policies. Which “coincidentally”in the same time frame saw the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) not to mention the threats of and recently implemented environmental policies that will needlessly hurt businesses,
While the administration is out pushing a “climate” report that claims that the winter of 2012 was one of the warmest ever, they fail to note that the winter that had just ended was one of the coldest on record. In fact the previous year (2013) was cooler than normal for the United States.
Much of the U.S. saw cooler-than-average and wetter-than-average conditions in 2013, according to the government’s official annual climate report released Wednesday.
It is undeniable that the severe winter of 2014 hurt the U.S. economy, colder weather always hurts the economy, which makes a thinking person wonder why the purveyors of doom and gloom attack warmer weather.  What is not being mentioned however is that we have had many cold and severe winters in our history but it is only when you are hovering near zero economic growth will colder weather throw the economy into the below zero range as has happened in the first quarter of 2014.

But the real charade is the Obama administration blaming a severe winter for a shrinking economy while simultaneously warning that global warming is having and will have a severe impact on  the US economy now and into the future. Irony is just so ironic.

5/02/2014

Benghazi, the “difference” that it makes



Hillary Clinton on the Hill
Hillary Clinton on the Hill
In just the past few days two  important new “smoking gun” emails have come to the public’s attention about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on our Benghazi consulate which killed four American’s including the United State’s Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. One of the emails was released only after the “most transparent administration in history” was ordered to do so by a federal court as the result of a Freedom of Information request by the watchdog organization Judicial Watch.
The fact that it took a “watchdog” organization to unearth an email which appears to directly tie the White House to the infamous talking points of former UN Ambassador Susan Rice is in itself disturbing.  It clearly demonstrates that the institution, meaning a “free” press, which the framers of our constitution intended to be a watchdog of government’s inevitable abuse of power failed at that task.
It is particularly telling in this case since the email itself is no more than “how to” guide on  “spinning” the narrative of the events surrounding the attacks to that very same media, a task which was evidently successful. The media could not even be bothered to “dig” into the events enough to find the memo which explained how they, the media,  could be spun. It is not as if such tactics are not standard fare of any administration, all administrations attempt to shine the best light on themselves and everybody knows it. The problem is when the media as an institution willingly even  actively joins an administration in this political game.
The fact that this particular email came from Ben Rhodes is even more disturbing since Ben Rhodes is the brother of  David Rhodes who is the President of CBS News the same CBS News which was once instrumental in uncovering the Watergate, Iran-contra  and other Washington political scandals but seems to be less than enthused in perusing this particular “cover-up.” Recently CBS’s best investigative journalist Sharyl Atkisson resigned  and revealed that CBS made no FOIA requests to obtain emails such as the one the network’s president’s brother sent out to “spin” CBS and other news organizations.
Which brings us to the exposure of the most recent “smoking gun” email. On her website, Atkisson informs us of another email which until recently has been not made public at the State Department’s request. The email  from Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones sent on September 12, 2012  to multiple high ranking State Department officials and as Atkisson points out totally contradicts nearly everything the administration was saying about the video being the cause of the attacks.
The private, internal communication directly contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly over the course of the next several weeks.They often maintained that an anti-Islamic YouTube video inspired a spontaneous demonstration that escalated into violence.
The email is entitled “Libya update from Beth Jones. ” Jones was then-Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton. According to the email, Jones spoke to Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 following the attacks.
“When [the Libyan Ambassador] said his government suspected that former Qaddafi regime elements carried out the attacks, I told him the group that conducted the attacks—Ansar Al Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,” Jones reports in the email.
There is no uncertainty assigned to the assessment, which does not mention a video or a protest. The State Department provided the email to Congress in Aug. of 2013 under special conditions that it not be publicly released at that time. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sought and received permission to release it Thursday.
With the publication of these two emails we now have documentation that:
  • On September 14, 2012 The White House attempted to deflect blame away from their policies and to the You Tube video as the Ben Rhodes email makes clear when he writes under “goals” for Susan Rice’s appearances
“To underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video, and not a broader failure of policy;”
  • On September 12, 2012 The State Department knew that the attacks in Benghazi were from a known terrorist organization and not the result of the “internet video.”
“I told him the group that conducted the attacks—Ansar Al Sharia—is affiliated with Islamic extremists,”
All of these high-ranking administration officials were “in the loop” on how the Obama Administration was going to respond to the events of September 11, 2012, yet they continued for weeks afterwards to portray the events in Benghazi as being the result of the video.
Which brings us to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s famous response to Senator Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) question on why the American public was not informed that this was a terrorist attack and not a demonstration “gone awry.”
 Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
The difference that it makes is huge and it is very simply this.  A fundamental bedrock of American democracy is that the powers of government should not be used as a means to attain or retain power. As naïve as this may sound knowing that all administration do use the power of government for this purpose, our very existence as a free nation depends on the concept that it is not acceptable for politicians to abuse the levers of government in order to retain their positions.  As fundamental as this concept is, the nation has grown cynical and ignores its importance at its peril.
In the same way that homicides occur multiple times a day in our nation there occurrences does not make the act acceptable.  Using the same institutions of government that are in place to protect and serve the American people in order to mislead them is murder of the public’s trust. One of our foundation beliefs as a nation is that government’s very existence is by “the consent of the governed” and if that consent is bought through the  deceptive use of our public servants of our government institutions then there is no real consent at all, there is only tyranny.  It is not necessary, at least initially, for despotic governments to rule by force if they can rule through deception.
This administration’s first big failure in the Benghazi scandal was that they did not attempt to rescue our fellow citizens.  An attempt which if unsuccessful or even futile still defines who we are as a nation.  As General Lovell testified “the point is we should have tried.”  How can the world look at us as anything other than weak when with the most powerful military force in the history of humanity we sit by and watch our diplomats slaughtered without an effort at rescue and thus far any retribution.
From a domestic political point of view it is even worse. The institutions which have been established to protect and serve us are now being used to deceive and manipulate us with no oversight from the media and in some cases with active support from that media.  At this point in our history, this makes a very big difference Madam Secretary, a very big difference indeed.