Thursday, May 31, 2012


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Subject: Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop Ahead of Recall vote.

[Wisclabor]Wisconsin State Journal /Associated Press
Backers of an effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker demonstrate in January.
Public-employee unions in Wisconsin have experienced a dramatic drop in membership—by more than half for the second-biggest union—since a law championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker sharply curtailed their ability to bargain over wages and working conditions.
Now with Mr. Walker facing a recall vote Tuesday, voters will decide whether his policies in the centrist state should continue—or whether they have gone too far.
The election could mark a pivot point for organized labor.
Mr. Walker's ouster would derail the political career of a rising Republican star and send a warning to other elected officials who are battling unions. But a victory for the governor, who has been leading his Democratic opponent in recent polls, would amount to an endorsement of an effort to curtail public-sector unions, which have been a pillar of strength for organized labor while private-sector membership has dwindled.
That could mean the sharp losses that some Wisconsin public-worker unions have experienced is a harbinger of similar unions' future nationwide, union leaders fear. Failure to oust Mr. Walker and overturn the Wisconsin law "spells doom," said Bryan Kennedy, the American Federation of Teachers' Wisconsin president.
Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees—the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers—fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme's figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.
Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.
A provision of the Walker law that eliminated automatic dues collection hurt union membership. When a public-sector contract expires the state now stops collecting dues from the affected workers' paychecks unless they say they want the dues taken out, said Peter Davis, general counsel of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.
In many cases, Afscme dropped members from its rolls after it failed to get them to affirm they want dues collected, said a labor official familiar with Afscme's figures. In a smaller number of cases, membership losses were due to worker layoffs.
Tina Pocernich, a researcher at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, was a dues-paying union member for 15 years. But after the Walker law went into effect she told the American Federation of Teachers she wanted out.
"It was a hard decision for me to make," said Ms. Pocernich, a 44-year-old mother of five, who left the union in March. "But there's nothing the union can do anymore."
But economic factors also played a role. Mr. Walker required public-sector employees to shoulder a greater share of pension and health-care costs, which ate up an added $300 of Ms. Pocernich's monthly salary of less than $3,100. She and her husband, a floor supervisor at a machine shop, cut back on their satellite-TV package and stopped going to weekly dinners at Applebee's.
Meanwhile, she said, she paid the AFT $18.50 out of her biweekly paycheck and was now getting nothing in return. Her college eliminated one small-but-treasured perk, the ability to punch out an hour early during summer months—and the union was powerless to stop it.
In the nearly 15 months since Mr. Walker signed the law, 6,000 of the AFT's Wisconsin 17,000 members quit, the union said. It blamed the drop on the law.
A Walker victory would have other reverberations. It could put Wisconsin—which President Barack Obama won by nearly 14 percentage points in 2008—into play in this November's presidential contest, requiring his campaign to devote valuable resources to defending it. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has strongly backed Mr. Walker's efforts.
Mr. Walker, 44, has likened his policies to Ronald Reagan's breaking of the air-traffic-controllers union in 1981. He says unions make it difficult to balance budgets while maintaining government services without raising taxes. Backers have poured more than $30 million into his campaign since last year, compared with $3.9 million raised by his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who entered the race in late March.
A victory by Mr. Walker "will be a dramatic signal to local and state politicians they can, in the name of fiscal responsibility, tell unions…to come into parity with private-sector workers, especially on benefits," said Michael Lotito, a San Francisco attorney who represents management in labor disputes and has testified on labor issues before Congress.
The Walker law sharply curbed collective bargaining for nearly all the state's public-employee unions except those for police and firefighters. Unions no longer can represent members in negotiations for better working conditions or for pay raises beyond the increase in inflation.
Unions have spent millions of dollars on TV ads campaigning against Mr. Walker. "Unions are putting a lot on the line and if they win, they win big, but if they lose, they lose even bigger," said Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University. A loss "will be interpreted as a sign of weakness and a lack of public sympathy."
Organized labor's strength has been declining for 60 years, as unions failed to keep pace with globalization, an increasingly service-oriented economy and more aggressive opposition from employers. Today, just one in eight American workers is a union member compared with more than one in three in the mid-1950s.
But that decline has come almost entirely in the private sector, where only 7% of workers today are union members. Public-sector union membership rates have held steady at around 37% since 1979, and the number of members has increased, thanks to growth in government employment. In 2009, for the first time, there were more union members in government than in companies.
The Labor Department estimates Wisconsin had 187,000 public-worker union members last year, but it hasn't updated the data for this year. The Wisconsin affiliate of the National Education Association declined to comment on any membership change.
Public-employee unions are under pressure elsewhere, too, as state and local officials cut spending in the wake of the recession, although the unions have won some fights. Ohio voters last year overturned a Republican law that went even further than Wisconsin's in limiting bargaining rights for public-sector unions by including police and firefighters.
But Republican governors Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey have seen their popularity rise after taking on unions, and even some Democratic mayors in big cities—such as Chicago's Rahm Emanuel—have been pressing unions to accept concessions to help balance budgets.
Membership declines could be self-perpetuating, said Mr. Chaison of Clark University. With diminished dues, unions deliver fewer services, making membership less appealing and hampering recruiting.
The fight in Wisconsin has spawned bitter rancor across a state whose divergent progressive and conservative political traditions were long balanced by a culture of political compromise.
After Mr. Walker proposed the law, hundreds of thousands of union members and other labor supporters shut down the state capital for weeks, and Democratic lawmakers fled to Illinois to try to prevent the quorum the bill needed to pass. Union organizers helped gather more than 900,000 signatures to force the recall election.
But the unions also have made mistakes. They spent $4 million backing Kathleen Falk, a labor-friendly former official in Madison, who was crushed in the May 8 Democratic primary by Mr. Barrett.
Meanwhile, collective-bargaining rights for public employees has receded as an issue, with far more people saying in recent polls that job creation is their top priority.
Write to Douglas Belkin at and Kris Maher
A version of this article appeared May 31, 2012, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop Ahead of Recall Vote.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Subject: Wisconsin end game-- Anti-reform war ends Tuesday

On the job: Walker visiting an automotive plant in Waukesha, Wis.
On the job: Walker visiting an automotive plant in Waukesha, Wis.

headshotMichael A. Walsh
Tuesday’s Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election is much more than a local contest between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; it’s the climax of a prolonged guerrilla war against Walker’s vital reforms.
Facing a huge budget deficit when he took office in January 2011, Walker made good on his campaign promises and curtailed collective-bargaining privileges for public-employee unions. Ever since, the dead-enders have sought to restore the old, unsustainable status quo.
There were weeks of huge, union-fueled protests in Madison, a physical occupation of the state Capitol building, scorched-earth legislative delaying tactics, (partly successful) efforts to recall Republican state senators and a failed bid to shift the state Supreme Court to the liberal camp. Now we’ve arrived at the end game.

The Democrats finally have their wish: the chance to unseat a sitting governor — not for any malfeasance, but for implementing his campaign promises. They’re likely to regret it.

Despite the left’s apocalyptic warnings, Walker’s reforms have helped turn the state’s ruinous finances around. His rollback of union “rights” — which started the whole mess — isn’t even being discussed anymore. Job creation is up and public education’s finances have been dramatically reformed and stabilized.

Polls show Walker heading into the do-over (he beat Barrett in 2010) with a lead of up to eight points. Sensing defeat, national Democrats have withdrawn support for the recall, infuriating local party functionaries.

But the unions at least want some scalps, if only to discourage those looking to support Walker-style reforms elsewhere. They don’t much care whom they take down: Four more state senators face recall next Tuesday, as does Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch — collateral damage in the ongoing Battle of Wisconsin.
Obama-tested slogans such as the bogus “war on women” and the hate-the-rich meme have popped up on yard signs across Wisconsin, but the local party’s sagging fortunes mirror the president’s. A big Walker win will send an unmistakable message to Washington: Stop spending, and start reforming.
For Wisconsin has always been one front in a larger civil struggle. On one side are the forces of take: the greedy public-service unions, with their sweetheart salaries and gold-plated retirement and health-care packages, “bargaining” with the same Democratic politicians they support with their union dues.
On the other, the tapped-out private-sector taxpayers who are bearing the brunt of the recession and have been seeking a champion.
As President Franklin Roosevelt famously warned, public-employee collective bargaining is incompatible with fairness. More to the point, FDR said: “Militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of government employees [who have] the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of government activities. This obligation is paramount.”
The unions have long denied that duty and gotten away with it — and Democrats have prospered by helping them. Walker’s success threatens that corrupt bargain.
On Tuesday night, all right-thinking Wisconsinites will have a chance to say no to threats and bullying and to take a stand — not for a party, but for the American Way. The other way lies anarchy.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Subject: O’s polish blunder ---Fumbles on Nazi death camps

German words, German camp: But the president, in honoring a Polish hero, referred to the facilities in Nazi-occupied Poland as “Polish camps.”
German words, German camp: But the president, in honoring a Polish hero, referred to the facilities in Nazi-occupied Poland as “Polish camps.”

President Obama put his foot in his mouth by referring to a “Polish death camp” as he was awarding a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a Polish hero who tried to stop the Holocaust. There couldn’t have been a worse time to make this blunder of calling German concentration camps “Polish.”
The only things Polish about Nazi concentration camps like Auschwitz were the victims. Auschwitz is a German name; German guards patrolled it; the German words “Arbeit macht frei” hang over the entrance.
Poland has been one of America’s greatest allies in the War on Terror, and Obama’s comments are putting a strain on this important relationship. Our president’s comments are such a scandal over there that Poland’s president, prime minister and foreign minister have all demanded that he apologize.

Karski was a hero for Poles. And he was such a hero for Jews that Israel made him a citizen after the war. He risked his life to sneak into the Jewish ghetto, where he promised Jewish leaders he would tell their story to the Allies. He also disguised himself as a Ukrainian guard to visit a German concentration camp.
Then Karski traveled across war-torn Europe to London and Washington to deliver his eyewitness account of Nazi Germany’s mass murder of Jews.

President Franklin Roosevelt ignored Karski’s pleas to help the Jews. Obama was supposed to set the record straight — but made things worse by using a phrase that insinuates that Poles were responsible for the camps.

This is not just semantics. The documentary “Upside Down” showed that Canadian and American schoolchildren thought Poland built the concentration camps because they’re often referred to as “Polish.”

After the Kosciuszko Foundation began a drive two years ago asking news outlets to stop using the phrase “Polish concentration camps” to refer to the German horrors in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Associated Press and other media organizations changed their stylebooks.
Yet the White House has issued only a lukewarm statement from a press officer saying that Obama “misspoke.”
Misspoke? This offensive phrase was on the teleprompter. That means the president’s staff didn’t care enough about this issue to research Karski’s history on the Internet.
Had they done so, they would’ve learned that Karski was not the only Pole who tried to save Jews from the German death camps. The underground created a clandestine organization called Zegota — the Polish Council to Aid Jews, which rescued tens of thousands of Jews during the Holocaust. They’d have learned about Irena Sendler, who rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto and found Poles willing to hide them.

Yes, there were cases of Poles killing Jews during the war — but no country did more to save Jews during the Holocaust than Poland. There are 6,339 people from Poland honored at Yad Vashem in Israel as righteous folk who saved Jews during World War II — more Poles than nationals of any other country.

Poles thought that by honoring Karski, Obama was going to set the record straight about the death camps. But by using this phrase to honor a Polish war hero, our president poured salt on wounds that keep getting scratched nearly seven decades after the war ended.

Alex Storozynski is president and executive director ”¨ of The Kosciuszko Foundation and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Subject: GOP Whistling Past the End of America 
An election almost as important as the presidential election will be held next Tuesday, and conservatives aren't making a big deal of it, just as they didn't make a fuss over the 2008 Minnesota Senate election as Al Franken stole it from under their noses. (Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "Minnesota has a reputation for clean and fair and good elections. We've got 4,100 precincts run by volunteers. They do a good job, and we thank them.")
The public sector unions are trying to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office for impinging on their princely, taxpayer-supported lifestyles. If Walker goes down, no governor will ever again suggest that snowplow operators work when it snows. No governor will dare try to deprive public school teachers of their Viagra. Forget about ever firing self-paced, self-evaluated, unnecessary government employees.
Always leading the nation, California has already been bankrupted by the public sector unions. That's the country's future if Walker doesn't win, and it's not going to matter who's in the Oval Office.
Democrats know what's at stake. They're treating this election like the Normandy invasion. Meanwhile, Republicans are sitting back, complacently citing polls that show Walker with a slight lead.
Polls don't register passion.
Public employee unions have vast organizing abilities, millions of dollars in union dues at their disposal, and millions of voters who are either union members themselves or relatives of union members. And it's their lifestyles being voted on.
The public sector unions will turn out 99.9 percent of their people. Even if they are only 15 percent of the electorate, that could be enough. Union members will have every distant relative, every neighbor, every person they can drag to the polls, voting to recall Walker next Tuesday.
Ordinary people answering polls may agree with Walker, but they'll have to decide: "Do I really want to get out of bed early and drive to the polls, just so they don't recall the governor?"
News reports blare with the information that the Walker campaign has spent more money than the opposition. This is absurd. Every union member in the country is working to defeat Walker.
Union political operatives aren't volunteers: They're getting salaries from the unions. But those expenditures don't get counted as money spent on a campaign -- a little detail of campaign finance laws Republicans have been screaming about for 20 years.
One measure of the unions' disproportionate passion is how difficult it is to obtain non-union information about the Wisconsin fight. Try running a few Google searches on Scott Walker and the public sector unions, and you'll get 20 pages of union propaganda under names such as "Common Dreams," "All Voices," "United Wisconsin," "Veterans News Now," "Struggles for Justice," "One Wisconsin Now," "Defending Wisconsin" and "Republic Report."
From the hysteria, you wouldn't know Walker's reforms have nothing to do with government employees' salaries. He eliminated collective bargaining only for all other aspects of government employees' contracts. OK, you can have two guys on a snowplow, but you can't have a snowplow watcher.
One of the most egregious union scams Walker dispensed with was the requirement -- won in collective bargaining -- that all school districts purchase health insurance from the same provider. The monopolist insurer was WEA Trust, which happens to be affiliated with the teachers union.
Simply by eliminating this union boondoggle, Walker has already saved individual school districts millions of dollars per year, which could easily rise to hundreds of millions of dollars. (Most districts still get their health insurance from WEA Trust, but the mere threat of competition forced it to lower its price.)
Amazingly, Walker actually had to eliminate "overtime" for snowplow operators who work outside of their 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. shifts. Isn't the whole idea of snowplowers to have them work when it snows and not during specific, pre-set hours of the day?
The teachers unions wail, "It's all about the kids!" -- and then we find out the Milwaukee teachers union sued the school district because their health insurance didn't cover Viagra. Yes, it's all about the kids.
Loads of Milwaukee bus drivers are using sick days and overtime to take home more than $100,000 a year.
Public sector employees seem to think they should be exempted from belt-tightening everyone else is subject to in the Obama economy. (Obama thinks so, too. Most of the stimulus money went to shore up public sector employees' salaries and perks.)
Half the country is unemployed, but these special people are indignant that Walker asked them to start contributing a tiny amount of their salaries to their own pensions -- 5.8 percent, up from zero percent -- and a little bit more for their own health insurance, from a measly 6.2 percent to 12.4 percent of their salaries.
Of course, it's extremely difficult to locate this information with the unions filling the Internet and the airwaves with their "Common Dreams" nonsense.
Fox News has barely mentioned this election, while on MSNBC they're doing non-stop campaigning on behalf of the unions. Apparently, James Madison will be rolling over in his grave if government unions aren't allowed to dictate how many employees are required to move a copy machine.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


New Rules for the Secret Service
The Secret Service issued new rules of conduct for agents.

They can no longer get drunk, procure hookers or go to strip bars.

The rules say that from now on, if agents feel compelled to engage in such behavior, they will have to run for public office like everyone else.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Subject: Penn. Democratic leader defects to GOP, cites Catholic faith as reason

JoAnn Nardelli BCFDW 

(Photos from Facebook and AP)
The defection of a prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to the Republican Party is raising some eyebrows.
Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.
During a press conference last week, Nardelli cited President Obama’s recent announcement in support of gay marriage as a central reason for her defection, endorsed Mitt Romney for president and changed her party registration to Republican, The Altoona Mirror reported.
“As the Democratic Party has taken the stand for same-sex marriage, then I must make a stand on my faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. God’s principles for life never change. His guidelines, given in Scripture, produce fruitful lives when you follow them,” Nardelli, a pro-life Democrat for more than 40 years, said at the Blair County Courthouse.
According to Politics PA, Nardelli continued to point to her Catholic faith as a major motivator in her letter of resignation to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
“I respect all of you and all that I have achieved in the past. Due to personal matters and faith beliefs at this time, it is only fair to resign,” she wrote. “I will miss you all very much as you are all a part of my family; however, it is time to move forward with my life in a direction that is more in line with my faith.”
The Mirror added that Blair County Republican Party Chairman A.C. Stickel welcomed Nardelli. Stickel emphasized Obama’s, and the Democratic Party’s, disconnect with blue collar values as a big part of the story.
She says the president has pandered to left wing ideological interests. She said that his recent flip-flop on gay marriage was the last straw for her,” Stickel said.
While Nardelli claims her faith guided her away from the blue side of the aisle, Blair County Democratic Chairman Frank Rosenhoover cited another reason: Nardelli’s loss last year in a county commissioner election to current officeholder Ted Beam by 400 votes.
“Jo Ann Nardelli lost the election because she’s Jo Ann Nardelli,” Rosenhoover said.
In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Nardelli claimed to not know any Republicans. She asserted, like the party-switching Ronald Reagan in 1962, that the Democratic Party had strayed from values with which she could agree.
“I thought I could make a difference to change our party. It didn’t work,” she said. “I noticed that it’s been going more and more to the left. This is not my father’s party. I did not leave the party; the party left me.” 


Posted By Woody Pendleton


President Barack Obama's administration is arguably the most pro-Islamic administration in U.S. history.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Wednesday demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice protect the religious liberties of Muslims after a Tennessee judge's ruling prevented a mosque to be completed as a result of public outcry in Murfreesboro.
The judge ruled that proper public notice was not given for the May 2010 meeting that approved the site plan for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, near Murfreesboro, Tenn. He seemed to base his ruling on the fact that anti-Muslim bigots were able to manufacture a controversy over the construction of the mosque, the site of which has been the target of hate vandalism, said CAIR officials after the ruling.
"American Muslim constitutional rights should not be diminished merely because anti-Muslim bigots are able to manufacture a controversy about what would otherwise be normal religious activities," said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas.
"If the Rutherford County Planning Commission does not immediately issue new permits for the mosque, we urge the Department of Justice to intervene in this case to support the religious rights of Tennessee Muslims," he stated in a media release on Wednesday.
"Looking at [Attorney General] Holder's past actions, I wouldn't be surprised to see him send a contingent of DOJ lawyers to pressure the judge and local politicians to acquiesce to the wishes of CAIR in spite of its history as a Muslim front group for terrorist groups," according to well-known counterterrorist and security expert Joseph Nellis, a former law enforcement commander.
Several groups, including the far-left, George Soros-supported group the Center for American Progress, called the judge's decision and the public outcry that preceeded it "bigoted."
"Using a common talking point of the left, Abbas claimed the ruling would be similar to a judge in the 1950s blocking construction of an African-American church in a White neighborhood because of the "controversy" created by racists. Of course, that's nonsense," said political strategist Mike Baker.
"To many observers, it appears strange that President Barack Obama and his Justice Department would entertain any demands made by CAIR since, in 2007, the Department of Justice declared CAIR a co- conspirator in the famous Holy Land Foundation criminal case," Baker noted.
USA Today published a news story yesterday that stated, "Kevin Vodak, litigation director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says a 2000 federal law meant to prevent zoning laws from discriminating against religious institutions is a potent tool. He cited the law -- the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act -- in a pending federal lawsuit against DuPage County, Ill., for 'unlawful conduct and discriminatory practices' when it denied a permit for the Irshad Learning Center in 2010."
The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steven Emersonhas noted in several studies the questionable associations and actions by many of CAIR’s leaders that cast serious doubt on its claims of moderation and restraint. Some have committed criminal acts themselves; others have ties to organizations with connections to Islamic extremism.
Those convicted of direct criminal activity include Ghassan Elashi, a founding board member of CAIR-Texas; Randall (Ismail) Royer, once a communications specialist for the national group, and Bassam Khafagi, the organization’s one-time director of community relations, according to Emerson.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Thomas Jefferson

This is amazing. There are two parts. Be sure to read the 2nd part (in RED).

Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, took three years to revise Virginia's legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry.

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States.

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation's size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello.

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams.

Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future:

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

"When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." -- Thomas Jefferson

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government." -- Thomas Jefferson

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Military mom 'proud' of breast-feeding in uniform, despite criticism

Brynja Sigurdardottir
Military mamas breast-feed with pride. A photo shoot at an Air Force base, intended to raise awareness about breast-feeding, has stirred up controversy.
Is breast-feeding while in uniform conduct unbecoming to a military mom?
The debate over nursing in public got a new layer recently, when photos taken on an Air Force base began to circulate online. In the series of tasteful professional photos showing beaming moms as they nurse their kids, one jumps out: the photo of two servicewomen with their uniform shirts unbuttoned and hiked up to breast-feed.
"A lot of people are saying it's a disgrace to the uniform. They're comparing it to urinating and defecating [while in uniform]," says Crystal Scott, a military spouse who started Mom2Mom in January as a breast-feeding support group for military moms and "anyone related to the base" at Fairchild AFB outside Spokane, Wash. "It's extremely upsetting. Defecating in public is illegal. Breast-feeding is not."

Live Poll

Should military moms breast-feed in uniform, in public?
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  • 184713
    Yes! It's awesome.
  • 184714
    No, it's inappropriate.
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It was Scott's idea to ask photographer Brynja Sigurdardottir to take photos of real-life breast-feeding moms to create posters for National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August. One of the moms photographed in uniform, Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, breast-feeds her 10-month-old twin girls on her lunch breaks during drill weekends as a member of the Air National Guard.
"I have breast-fed in our lobby, in my car, in the park ... and I pump, usually in the locker room," she says. "I'm proud to be wearing a uniform while breast-feeding. I'm proud of the photo and I hope it encourages other women to know they can breast-feed whether they're active duty, guard or civilian."
She said she's surprised by the reaction to the photos, which also feature her friend Christina Luna, because it never occurred to her that breast-feeding in uniform would cause such a stir.
"There isn't a policy saying we can or cannot breast-feed in uniform," Echegoyen-McCabe says. "I think it's something that every military mom who is breast-feeding has done. ... I think we do need to be able to breast-feed in uniform and be protected."
The Air Force has no policy specifically addressing breast-feeding in uniform, according to Air Force spokesperson Captain Rose Richeson, who added, "Airmen should be mindful of their dress and appearance and present a professional image at all times while in uniform."
Brynja Sigurdardottir
Terran Echegoyen-McCabe, left, and Christina Luna breast-feed their children. Terran says she's proud of the photo, though she didn't expect it to get such a reaction.
Robyn Roche-Paull has been advocating for such a policy since she left the U.S. Navy 15 years ago. Her challenges in breast-feeding her son while on active duty – she recalls her "flaming red face" upon being reprimanded for nursing in a medical waiting room – prompted her to write a book called "Breastfeeding in Combat Boots" as a resource for military moms. She is now an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who remains close to the military through her active-duty husband and her blog for military moms.
"If you follow the comments on my blog, a lot of the comments are that the breast-feeding mothers are the ones who need to be covered up. Nobody sees anything wrong with bottle feeding mothers or fathers," she says. "Asking mothers to feed a baby by bottle when they are together, simply because they are in uniform, can both affect the mom's milk supply and her willingness to keep breast-feeding or stay in the military. It's simply one more barrier they have to face."
The criticism of the photo goes beyond the usual nursing-in-public debate, though. One commenter on Roche-Paull’s website who identified herself as a retired captain in the Marine Corps said she advocated for breast-feeding moms in the military and now, as a civilian, she nurses freely on base. However, she writes:
“I would never nurse in uniform. I took my child to the bathroom or a private office when her nanny brought her to me …. Not because I was ashamed of nursing, nor of being a mother. All the guys knew I pumped. The military is not a civilian job. We go to combat and we make life or death decisions, and not just for ourselves but for those we lead. The same reason I would never nurse in uniform is the same reason I do not chew gum, or walk and talk on my cell phone, or even run into the store in my utility uniform. ... We are warfighting professionals. Women before us have worked too hard to earn and retain the respect of their male peers. I don’t want my Marines to look at me any other way than as a Marine. When I am asking them to fly into combat with me and do a dangerous mission, I do not want them to have the mental image of a babe at my breast. I want them to only see me as a Marine. Let’s be a realistic folks. We give up many freedoms being in the military…Breastfeeding in front of my fellow Marines was one of them."
Another commenter on the blog replies:
“There is N-O-T-H-I-N-G more authoritative than a strong mother standing tall breastfeeding as she barks orders. It’s AWESOME that you’ve worked so hard promote breastfeeding, but I think you *might* be selling yourself short.”
The women in the photo have given some thought to the whole question of military versus maternal duties. To those who believe breast-feeding in uniform undermines the authority of a female officer, Echegoyen-McCabe says:
"I guess my thoughts are, if you don't want to breast-feed in your uniform, you don't have to. But you should have respect for those who do. ... If anything, it should make people look at you as someone who is able to multitask."


Posted By Woody Pendleton


UN Environmental Constitution Aims to Establish Repressive Global Governance

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Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance
The American Dream
March 17, 2012
Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of “Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development” and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance. This “covenant”, as it is being called, claims authority over the entire global environment and everything that affects it. Considering the fact that everything that we do affects the environment in some way, that would mean that this document would become the highest form of law for all human activity. This proposed UN environmental constitution for the world is incredibly detailed. The U.S. Constitution only has 7 articles, but the UN document has 79 articles. If the U.S. eventually ratifies this treaty, any national, state or local laws that conflict with this covenant will be null and void. This is potentially one of the greatest threats to our national sovereignty that we have ever seen and we need to warn the American people about it.
Essentially what this proposed environmental covenant does is it takes the sustainable development principles underlyingAgenda 21 and turns them into global constitutional law.
All parties to this new constitution would be forced to turn their nations into centrally-planned societies where all decisions about everything are evaluated within the framework of sustainable development.
If the United States became a party to this treaty, America would become a paradise for control freaks. Basic decisions about what you eat, about what you wear, about where you live, about how big a family you can have and about what activities you could engage in on a daily basis would be dictated by the mandates in the global constitution.
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Posted By Woody Pendleton


Law of Sea Treaty A Back Door For Cap And Trade

Conn Carroll had an excellent piece at the Washington Examiner yesterday titled “Obama’s Lame Duck Plan To Pass Cap And Trade.” Carroll makes the case that Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) may use the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) as a back door to implement cap and trade regulations on United States citizens.
Mike Brownfield of The Heritage Foundation (my employer) wrote a short history of LOST the day before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing last Wednesday.
Back in 1982, President Ronald Reagan decided not to sign a treaty known as “Law of the Sea” (LOST), a United Nations convention that would raid America’s treasury for billions of dollars, then redistribute that wealth to the rest of the world by an international bureaucracy headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica. But today, the Obama Administration has revived that treaty, and tomorrow Senator John Kerry (D-MA) will hold hearings designed to illustrate its supposed benefits and generate support for its ratification. Without a doubt, Reagan’s decision should stand, and LOST should remain relegated to the trash bin of history.
Carroll opines that the treaty may not be necessary. It may prove to be a back door means by which supporters of Global Warming regulations can have a United Nations sanctioned body impose binding regulations on the United States.
Asked Wednesday if LOST was “a backdoor Kyoto protocol,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton replied: “It contains no obligations to implement any particular climate change policies. It doesn’t require adherence to any specific emission policies, and we would be glad to present for the record a legal analysis to that effect.” This is classic Clinton dissembling. While her statement is technically true, it is also completely non-responsive to the binding arbitration threat LOST poses to the U.S. economy.
If one needs another reason to distrust any organ of the United Nations, one need to look no further than the recent story from the New York Post titled “U.N. endorses Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe as tourism leader.” Who is Robert Mugabe?
He’s been named one of the world’s “worst dictators” for having a questionable human rights record, but that’s not keeping the United Nations from endorsing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his regime as a “leader for tourism,” according to reports. The surprise honor, while slammed by human rights groups, is also a head scratcher since the 88-year-old despot is banned from even travelling to Europe because of Western sanctions. The U.N. World Tourism Organization endorsed Mugabe along with Zambian President Michael Sata at the African countries’ shared border, where the pair signed an agreement Tuesday to co-host the WTO General Assembly in August 2013.
United Nation’s sanctioned bodies have a long record of atrocious judgement in general and anti-Americanism in particular. How can anyone expect the international bodies created under LOST to do any better? Furthermore, Steve Groves at Heritage worries that LOST would expose the U.S. to baseless Climate Change lawsuits.


Posted By Woody Pendleton


Don’t Bring Back Earmarks!

From the diaries by Erick
(The Conservative Action Project, chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, is designed to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. Participants include the CEO’s of over 100 organizations representing all major elements of the conservative movement—economic, social and national security.)
RE: Some members of congress are trying to reopen the earmark ban through an obscure legislative process. For many conservatives, the two-year moratorium on the practice of earmarking was the signature accomplishment of the new House majority elected in 2010. Yet, the current legislative push by involving Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTBs) is being used by the Washington establishment to reopen that moratorium and roll back conservative advances.
ACTION: With the Federal government saddled with trillion dollars in deficits and $16 trillion in debt bringing back earmarks would only compound Washington’s spending problem. We urge all organizations and individuals concerned about the size of the federal government to issue op-eds, alerts, blog posts, releases, and other communications warning about the implications of ending or modifying the earmark ban.
Earmarks should be permanently eliminated, not resurrected. Time is short, therefore please do not delay.
Congress needs to live by the Earmark Moratorium it put in place. Clearly, the practice of putting thousands of earmarks in spending bills, many for projects of a purely local nature, did not originate with the Founding Fathers—it is a recent phenomenon. Congress never extensively earmarked until the 1990s; it is neither necessary nor traditional to buy elections with pork.
“…federal money should be limited to great national works only, since if it were unlimited it would liable to abuse and might be productive of evil.”
–President James Monroe, 1822
“Earmarking” is not just the normal legislative process or Congress using its “power of the purse.” The term “earmark” does not attach to every Congressional funding decision. Earmarking is a phenomenon whereby legislators direct pork barrel spending to their districts outside of a statutory formula-driven or competitive award process for a federal program. The growth in earmarking has directly coincided with the growth in government.
A returning to earmarking would mean a return of outrageous taxpayer funded projects like: $2 million for the Vulcan Statue in Birmingham, $1 million for the Woodstock Museum in New York, $200,000 for the study of lobsters, $50,000 thousand for the National Mule and Packers Museum, and $500,000 for hops research.
In 1970, there were 12 earmarks in the defense spending bill. In 2010, there were 1,752 earmarks. The first federal aid-highway bill in 1916 had zero earmarks; the bill to create the Interstate Highway System in 1956 had two projects suggested by members of Congress. President Reagan vetoed a surface transportation bill in 1986 when it had 152 earmarks worth $1 billion, while the most recent highway authorization bill in 2005 had more than 6,300 earmarks worth $24.5 billion, including the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.
  • $7.3 million for grasshopper research in North Dakota—FY1999
  • $1 million for a DNA study of bears in Montana—FY2003
  • $50,000 for a tattoo removal program in California—FY2002
An Earmark is an Earmark is an Earmark
House Rule XXI, clause 9 explicitly defines a congressional earmark to include: Limited tariff benefit- a provision modifying the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States in a manner that benefits 10 or fewer entities.
Republicans maintained “limited” MTBs in the earmark definition because the process of requesting an MTB, the lobbyist involvement and potential for corruption, are similar. Alarmingly, the Ways and Means Committee is asking lawmakers to self-certify that their requests are not in violation of the very specific language of the moratorium. It is a nearly impossible task for small congressional offices, which must then rely on the assertions of the very lobbyists whose companies would benefit from the sought-after MTB.
Already, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is hitting Republican freshmen, saying they have been “caught begging Republican leaders to bring back earmarks.”
Memo signed by the following conservative leaders
(All organizations listed for Identification purposes only):
Tom Schatz, President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Erick Erickson, Editor,
Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General
Chris Chocola, President, Club for Growth
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Lew Uhler, President, National Tax Limitation Committee
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Alfred Regnery, President, The Paul Revere Project
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Heather Higgins, President, Independent Women’s Voice
Duane Parde, President, National Taxpayers Union
Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center
Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness
David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
Seton Motley, President, Less Government
David Y. Denholm, President, Public Service Research Foundation
C. Preston Noell, President, Tradition, Family, Property
James Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Mathew D. Staver, Chairman, Liberty Counsel Action
Richard Viguerie, Chairman,
Michael Needham, Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action for America
Bill Pascoe, Executive Vice President, Citizens for the Republic
Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union
Dr. Herbert London, President Emeritus, Hudson Institute
James Miller III, former Reagan Budget Director
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