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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Martin 9/12 TeaParty Committee

Meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Willful Blindness and Our Saudi ‘Friends’

Willful Blindness and Our Saudi ‘Friends’

For many years, I was reluctant to write a memoir of my experience leading the investigation and prosecution of the jihadists against whom we are still at war over 20 years later. For one thing, while an exhilarating experience for a trial lawyer, it was also a very hard time for my family, for obvious reasons. Also, with all the tough judgment calls we had to make, we inevitably made some mistakes — “we” very much including me. A triumphant outcome has a pleasant way of bleaching away any memory of errors; to write honestly about the case would mean revisiting them. Who needed that?
And about that triumph: I had, and have, a gnawing sense that we failed. Yes, the conviction of the Blind Sheikh and his henchmen was a great law-enforcement success. Throughout the long trial and in the years that followed, though, I came to appreciate that national security is principally about keeping Americans safe, not winning court cases. Sure, winning in this instance meant justice was done and some terrorists were incarcerated. How safe, though, had we really kept Americans?
For all the effort and expense, the number of jihadists neutralized was negligible compared to the overall threat. The attacks kept coming, as one might expect when one side detonates bombs and the other responds with subpoenas. As the years passed, the tally of casualties far outstripped that of convicted terrorists. When 9/11 finally happened, killing nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans, al-Qaeda credited none other than the Blind Sheikh with issuing the fatwa — the sharia edict — that authorized the attack. We had imprisoned him, but we had not stopped him.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rep. Brat: House leaders don’t get it on slashing the federal budget

Rep. Brat: House leaders don’t get it on slashing the federal budget
By Rep. David Brat | May 12 | The Washington Post

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va. says House Republican
leaders are going down the wrong path on the budget.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Conservatives are supposed to stand for fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and reducing government waste.

Yet House leadership is currently whipping votes for a bad budget deal that was negotiated behind closed doors by party leaders that blows through the budget caps.
Despite Republican control of both the Senate and the House, the deficit is set to go up over $100 billion to the $530 billion range. Last year marked the highest level of federal government spending ever.
All this spending is on the backs of our kids. They have no effective lobby on Capitol Hill, so they lose to a D.C. bureaucracy that is incapable of listening to the American people.
Leadership has already begun work on a number of spending bills that appropriate taxpayer dollars at unprecedented levels — even though Congress has yet to pass a budget!
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) initially announced a budget resolution deadline of March 15 — but no vote was held even by the April 15 statutory deadline.
All of this action, all of these decisions, are in the hands of a few.
Congress’s discretionary spending level for fiscal year 2017 was capped at $1.040 trillion for fiscal year 2017 due to previous spending agreements dating back to 2011. But last year, outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) negotiated a deal with President Obama that broke the sequester caps and increased government spending by $30 billion to a historic $1.070 trillion for fiscal year 2017. Although this bill was opposed by the majority of House Republicans, it passed thanks to 79 Republicans who voted for it along with all 187 Democrats.
The country faces an imminent fiscal crisis, and the Republican Party has an obligation to change the direction we are headed. The federal government does not have to keep spending at unprecedented and unsustainable levels. The founders placed the power of the purse in the hands of Congress.
We don’t know what will happen with the presidential election, but we – the Republicans who have a majority in the People’s House – have an historic opportunity to change the direction of our country now. Given that our children’s futures are at stake, it is our responsibility to make sure we get this right and do not pass the buck with a continuing resolution (that spends more of taxpayers’ hard-earned money) in the fall.
Congress should not allow a passive outcome, where we back into spending $1.070 trillion as the default because Republicans in the House failed to lead when we had the opportunity to do so.
Republican leadership has been on a “listening tour;” and we in the House Freedom Caucus have provide countless solutions on how to trim $30 billion from the Obama-Boehner deal budget number.
While a balanced budget would require $530 billion in savings, the House Freedom Caucus compromised and requested $30 billion in savings be trimmed from the budget. Whether the savings comes from reforming autopilot or annual spending, or through a “sidecar” attached to a must-pass bill, we have simply been looking for a way to enact real savings now.
We are not getting enough feedback from leadership as to which solutions are acceptable, and which are not. If none of the ideas we have offered are favorable, we need to know why so we can think through the problem and find new solutions. The information feedback loop is broken, and as an economist that’s very frustrating.
The fact that the House budget is at a standstill over $30 billion reveals how unserious some within the Republican Party are about fiscal discipline and actually addressing our national debt crisis.
The federal budget deficit will swell in relation to GDP this year for the first time since 2009, ballooning to an estimated $534 billion in 2016, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. If Congress continues on its current path of spending, the deficit will surpass $1 trillion by 2022 and every year thereafter. Thirty trillion in debt in a decade. Feel the Bern and you will be at $40 trillion. Yes with a T.
We have only to look to Puerto Rico to see where Washington’s addiction to spending can lead. Many have argued that Trump may not be conservative on fiscal issues. That argument is hot air if Congress itself cannot walk the walk. There is nothing conservative about the Obama-Boehner budget deal, which leadership is urging us to support.
If we are serious about fiscal discipline and a brighter future for our country, as conservatives say they are, we must pass a budget that actually reins in federal spending.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) is a member of the Budget Committee and the House Freedom Caucus. Before serving in Congress,  he worked for the World Bank assisting developing world economies and was an economics professor and chairman of the economics department at Randolph Macon College.

Friday, May 13, 2016

National Security Experts Seek Public Debate of Proposed Changes to Military Commissions

National Security Experts Seek Public Debate of Proposed Changes to Military Commissions
·         May 11, 2016
·         Issue: Counter-Terrorism Policies & Practices
·         Sub-Issue: Detention & Prosecution of Terrorist Suspects

Twenty-five national security experts from across the political spectrum want Congress to hold public hearings before making changes to the law for prosecuting suspected terrorists in military commissions.
Military commission proceedings have been underway at Guantanamo Bay since 2011 for six detainees accused of planning the 9/11 attacks, and one accused of plotting the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, with the anticipated trials still several years away.  The government is seeking the death penalty against six of the defendants.  In mid-April, the Department of Defense asked Congress to consider several amendments to the Military Commissions Act it said would improve the efficiency of the process.
“There are real problems with the military commissions, but the proposed amendments to the MCA do not address them—and in some cases raise serious constitutional concerns,” the experts wrote in a May 10 statement to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is considering the changes requested by the Pentagon as part of the annual defense authorization legislation.  The experts are all members of The Constitution Project’s bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee or the Task Force on Detainee Treatment.

“Fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks and the Cole bombing, it is perfectly understandable that the government, the families of the victims and public would be frustrated by the glacial pace of bringing these alleged perpetrators to justice,” said TCP President Virginia Sloan in a press release.  “But tinkering around the edges of an unfixable law, especially without full public discussion, is not the solution,” she said.  Instead, Sloan suggested Congress drop its opposition to trying the cases in federal court.

The statement notes that more people have been convicted on terrorism-related charges in federal court – and are currently incarcerated in federal prison – than the entire remaining population at Guantanamo.  In comparison, military commissions have obtained only eight convictions, four of which were subsequently overturned by a federal appeals court.  Military commissions cost $91 million a year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Blueprint for Limiting Leviathan

A Blueprint for Limiting Leviathan

By Carl F. Horowitz 
Volume 26, Number 2 (Winter 2016) 
 Link to publisher 
© Copyright 2016 The Social Contract Press
Issue theme: "Immigration Briefing Book" 
Book Review:
Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission
Charles Murray
New York:  Crown Forum, 2015
319pp., $27.00
In the world of the thinking Right, Charles Murray for at least 30 years has ranked as a top figure. A social scientist and policy wonk, he calls to mind the late philosopher Robert Nozick. He makes libertarianism fun and practical, and without reverting to the taunting, pugilistic dogmatism that renders so many other libertarians about as substantial as bumper sticker sloganeers. Murray’s latest book, By the People, embodies much that is right—and, unfortunately, wrong—with libertarianism.
Let us first examine the positives, of which there are many. By the People is an admirable work. The subtitle alone is an apt summation. Our country was not set up so that people have to ask permission from government every time they have a bright idea or a creative impulse. It’s the other way around: Government must receive permission from its citizens in order to govern. Yet for several decades we have moved into opposite territory, redefining law in highly subjective ways that blur distinctions between lawful and unlawful activities. Our “lawless legal system,” as the author terms it, now metes out punishment for the most petty and even nonexistent offenses. And equally disturbing, it causes us to apply reflexive self-censorship when contemplating a “controversial” remark. Of such stuff, police states are born.
A skeptic would respond that American has a long way to go before it becomes a police state. Formally, that’s true. Yet public policy is far more about anticipating consequences than fixing them. And given the demonstrated ease by which nations elsewhere have descended into tyranny, it would be presumptuous to say we are immune from such a fate.
The main trigger for State excess, Murray argues, was the revolution in constitutional thinking embodied in a series of Supreme Court decisions during 1937–42. By aggressively expanding the contours of contractual obligation and liability, the Court gave the executive branch, Congress, and future Supreme Courts, not to mention state and local governments, unprecedented leeway to transform law into a vehicle for political and economic advantage. This was the antithesis of rule of law, a primary principle of which is that no one class of citizens ought to be treated differently than others. The original jurisprudence superseded, the main burden of proof as to the necessity of a law or regulation now would fall upon those who object to government action rather than upon government itself. Read the entire article HERE. 

About the author

Carl F. Horowitz is a project director with the National Legal and Policy Center, a Falls Church, Virginia-based nonprofit group dedicated to promoting ethics in public life.  He is the author of Sharpton: A Demagogue’s Rise and holds a Ph.D. in urban planning and public policy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

BREAKING: Tennessee Assembly Declares War on Obama, Refugees


NASHVILLE, Tennessee–On Tuesday, the Tennessee General Assembly declared it will sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program on Tenth Amendment grounds. The State Senate passed a resolution authorizing that lawsuit in a 29 to 4 vote one day after it passed the Tennessee House by a 69 to 25 margin.
“Today we struck a blow for Liberty by finally adopting SJR467,” State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), the co-sponsor of the resolution who shepherded it through the State Senate, tells Breitbart News.
“The General Assembly clearly understands the importance of public safety and state sovereignty as demonstrated by the overwhelming support of this Resolution for which we are thankful. The Syrian surge heightens our sense of urgency to get this properly before the courts, and we urge the Attorney General to act without delay,” Norris adds. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Crisis of the American Idea

by (Senator) 

We face great challenges at this moment in history. We face cyber threats. We face a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin. We face a jihadi threat. We face the growing threat of nonstate actors, who now can carry out massive attacks and are as able to play on the global stage as state actors. We face the exploding costs of our entitlement programs.
All these challenges are acute, but another dangerous trend is attracting less notice: The crisis of confidence in, and the growing unawareness of, the American idea.
What is the American idea? The American Founding made the bold claim that most peoples and most governments in the history of the world had been wrong about the nature of power and the nature of freedom. Sure, there were moments in history when certain city-states advanced some conception of liberty, but most people in human history said that might makes right: If you have a monopoly on power, you can do what you want. Everyone else in those societies was not a citizen but a dependent subject. If you lived in such a society, you needed the king to give you rights. The passive assumption was prohibition. The passive assumption was that if I want to start a business, I need a charter because it is illegal to run that business unless the king has sanctioned it. Therefore, I go and supplicate before the king in his court, and he decides whether to give me the right to start that business.
Today we would say that is bizarre. The voluntary transaction between two people is the very nature of freedom. The American Founders saw that denying people their freedom is fundamentally wrong because it does not comport with the dignity of people who are created in the image of God. People have been endowed with certain inalienable rights. God gives us those rights; government does not.
Government is merely a tool. It provides a framework for ordered liberty so that free people can live fully flowering lives.
This is why Ronald Reagan said that the American Founders “brought about the only true revolution that has ever taken place in man’s history.” Previous revolutions “simply exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers,” Reagan said. But America’s Founders did something different: They developed and fought for “the idea that you and I have within ourselves the God-given right and the ability to determine our own destiny.”

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Freedom from Religion Foundation: “I’m Secular and I Vote” Campaign, Part 3 of 3

Debra Rae | 16 Apr 2016

“Freedom from religion” is better understood as switching religion from one brand to another. Secularism and religion sport their own distinctive vocabulary, sacred symbolism, grand metanarrative, exclusive truth exercised by faith, code of ethics/morality, creed, rituals, evangelism, and discipleship. Logically, to discard religion is to separate from all of the above, but secularism instead exhibits them.

Rituals (Superstition, De-baptism, Confirmation, Invocations and Prayer)
“Luck” smacks of superstition. Even so, Freedom from Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor is named as one of the “lucky” eighteen percent of fellow members who grew up freethinking. As such, she was “spared baptism by water, fire or Sunday school.” Officially renouncing the primitive rite of baptism to which “the luckless” were so cruelly subjected, participants exchange creeds, dogmas, and alleged superstitions of one belief system with those of another. This they do by obtaining genuine De-Baptismal Certificates. (No joke!)

Extracting themselves from any claims of religious affiliation or membership based on baptismal records, secularists join and pay dues (i.e., tithes and offerings) to the fellowship of Freedom from Religion. Congregants aggressively challenge prayer spaces at the University of Iowa, for example; however, following the Supreme Court’s injudicious decision “blessing” sectarian prayer, the Foundation rewards freethinkers who ask for equal time to give secular invocations.[i]

·         Celebratory Music Ministry
At the Reason Rally June 2016, celebration of secularism at the Lincoln Memorial will be paired with entertainment and parties that draw hand-clapping, arm raising, closed-eyes enthusiasts eager to sway to the beat of hip-hop artist Baba Brinkman, songwriter-artist Sophia Kameron, and Keith Lowell Jensen of Atheist Christmas fame. This is one Camp Meeting secularists don’t want to miss![ii]

In accord with the Bible, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”[iii] Even as Christians serve God, secularists are busy about the work of their master, mammon—this, by vigorously contesting what they view as unsavory practices in the public forum and bad legislation.[iv]

Friday, April 15, 2016

Freedom from Religion Foundation: “I’m Secular and I Vote” Campaign, Part 2 of 3

Debra Rae | 15 Apr 2016

Any religion, by definition, sports its own distinctive vocabulary, sacred symbolism, grand metanarrative, exclusive truth exercised by faith, code of ethics/morality, creed, rituals, evangelism, and discipleship. As is true with any worldview, secularism by nature is a religion. Logically, to discard religion is to separate from the above, but secularism instead exhibits them all. Hence, “freedom from religion” is better understood as switching religion from one brand to another.

In Part 1, we established that judicial acknowledgement, a distinctive vocabulary, grand metanarrative, and vision for the ideal accompany secularism and religion. All inform voters and influence the course of a nation.

The late journalist Christopher Hitchens reasoned, “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”[i] Of course, one could counter, “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all secularists (or progressives) can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.” But I digress.

Belief Claiming Exclusive Truth
Naturalists reproach biblical apologists for fortifying dogma by inserting “the God of the gaps”; however, in a letter to Dr. Asa Gray, their hero Charles Darwin admitted, “Imagination must fill up very wide blanks.” Despite these blanks, naturalists embrace “settled science” as exclusive truth.
Having studied under the famous scholar, Gamaliel, the Apostle Paul had legitimate claim to knowledge of truth.

Because experience shows God’s unfailing strength as perfected in weakness, Paul deemed God’s grace to be sufficient and chose wisely to “boast” in his own weaknesses so that “the power of Christ might rest upon him.”[ii] In Darwin’s world, to the contrary, the weakest links are expunged as “maladjusted morons and misfits.”[iii] In shunning lesser human specimens, secular elitists worship at their own makeshift altar of exclusivity.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Freedom from Religion Foundation: “I’m Secular and I Vote” Campaign, Part 1 of 3

Debra Rae | 14 Apr 2016 

Free thought and pride attract atheists, agnostics, and skeptics to the largest secular association in North America—the non-profit, educational Freedom from Religion Foundation. FFRF Co-President Dan Barker opines, "Much of the movement away from religion in America is being driven by Millennials, many of whom will be voting for the first time this year."[i] Hence, Parker adds, "We need secular voters to be vocal about their beliefs, or lack thereof, while rejecting efforts to push religious dogma on the nation."

This, of course, is no small effort. The Foundation boasts 23,500 members, 20 chapters across America, not to mention secular student alliances. Nearly 8,000 secular voters are reaching out to educate the public about their beliefs. FFRF awards thousands of dollars in prizes for winning student essays; and they distribute "I'm Secular and I Vote" buttons, T-shirts, bumper stickers, and educational material.[ii]

What Exactly is Religion?[iii]
To be freed from something requires grasp of what is being discarded. So what exactly is the illusive concept of religion? Surprising to some, whether Judeo-Christian, Marxist-Leninist, secularist, or Islamic, all worldviews by nature are religious. Each defines an ultimate point of reference that dramatically influences every possible discipline from science to the arts, ethics to law, geo-politics to economics. All speak to an ideology, or movement, that offers some overarching approach to comprehend God (god), the world, and man’s relationship to both.

“Freedom from religion” is better understood as switching religion from one brand to another. Allow me to explain. Classical orthodoxy, Christian or Jewish, broadly typifies “religion,” as most perceive it, but so does secular humanism. By definition, religion sports its own distinctive vocabulary, sacred symbolism, grand metanarrative, exclusive truth exercised by faith, code of ethics/morality, creed, rituals, evangelism, and discipleship. Logically, to discard religion is to separate from the above; secularism instead exhibits all of them.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Council on Foreign Relations - The Power Behind Big News

This is a video on NEWS FABRiCATiON and also about the powers that REALLY run the big media. A closer look at what the C.F.R. is all about.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

IBD EDITORIALS: Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare


Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare

The climate alarmists want the public to think they are trying to avoid a burnt world, but what they really want is something altogether different. (AP)
Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare.
We have been told now for almost three decades that man has to change his ways or his fossil-fuel emissions will scorch Earth with catastrophic warming. Scientists, politicians and activists have maintained the narrative that their concern is only about caring for our planet and its inhabitants. But this is simply not true. The narrative is a ruse. They are after something entirely different.
If they were honest, the climate alarmists would admit that they are not working feverishly to hold down global temperatures — they would acknowledge that they are instead consumed with the goal of holding down capitalism and establishing a global welfare state.
Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:
“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.
So what is the goal of environmental policy?
“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Critical Issues for Local Activists - #1

Critical Issues for Local Activists

Are you certain that you are not needed in the cleanup effort in your community or county? The evidence is to the contrary. America has been inundated by Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development policies down to the smallest local level. Only local citizens can change this… and that means you!

Here are some areas that need immediate and continuing attention. Pick a topic, grab some fellow citizens, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Persistence and persuasion invariably get positive results.

#1: Abandon ICLEI membership (County/City)

ICLEI is an international organization that sells memberships to local cities and counties, and then promotes material and consultants to transform the member into compliancy with global standards for sustainable development.

ICLEI stands for “International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives” but the organization changed its name to Local Governments for Sustainability. It’s mission statement declares, “By helping our Members to make their cities and regions sustainable, low-carbon, resilient, ecomobile, biodiverse, resource-efficient and productive, healthy and happy, with a green economy and smart infrastructure, we impact over 20% of the world’s urban population.”


Ed.: Other issues will be posted in a series. They include:
2. Discard Common Core Education Standards (City/County) 
3. Anti-Geoslavery Ordinances Needed (City/County) 
4. Equality in Separation of Church and State Issues (City/County)  
5. Voting Down General Plans That Promote Sustainable Development (City/County)  
6. Public-Private Partnerships (City/County) 
7.  Educating your County Sheriff on Constitutional Responsibilities (County)  
8.  Smart Growth Land Use Policies (City/County) 
9.  Councils of Governments (City/County)

Friday, March 18, 2016

JENNY BETH MARTIN: A message to Trump and his protesters: cease and desist, now

I have a simple message for both Donald Trump and the organized protesters who have been showing up at his events to disrupt them - cease and desist, now. In so many ways, the 2016 presidential nominating process has been unusual from the start. Conventional wisdom has been turned on its head, and pollsters and political…