ARRA News Service
News Blog for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. Content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for or by this "Blog" - no paid ads - no payments for articles. Fair Use Doctrine is posted & used.
Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Riddle of the Sphinx & America's Hope for Change

It took Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak 30 years as president to wear out his welcome with the Egyptian populace. President Barack Obama singular achievement is that he achieved this in less than two years. Free Americans are constrained by "hope and change" which is based in the U.S. Constitution. We hope as we endure in the short term for change allowed via elections under our Constitution. Our established election cycle and presidential term limits prevent America's frustration from looking like Egypt.

"His inane-nous" Obama responded, "the people of Egypt have spoken, their voices have been heard and Egypt will never be the same." He invoked Ronald Reagan and Martin Luther King likening the relatively peaceful ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the advances of the American civil rights movement, "There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom. Those were the cries that came from Tahrir Square, and the entire world has taken it up." [Source]

Below cartoonist William Warren illustrated the confused thought process of our present leader. While Egypt celebrates the resignation of their president, American waits in hope for the change in our leadership:

Tags: Egypt, Egyptian Sphinx, Hosni Mubarak, Mubarak, Barack Obama, Obama, Obama's Foreign Policy, Political Cartoons, William Warren, hope, change To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

CBO: Health Law Will Shrink Jobs by 800,000

CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf
By J. Lester Feder & Kate Nocera, Politicol: CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee on Thursday that the health care law will reduce employment by 0.5 percent by 2021 because some people will no longer have to work just to afford health insurance.

“That means that if the reduction in the labor used was workers working the average number of hours in the economy and earning the average wage, that there would be a reduction of 800,000 workers,” Elmendorf said in an exchange with Rep. John Campbell (R-CA).

The report, published in August, said, "The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply … That net effect reflects changes in incentives in the labor market that operate in both directions: Some provisions of the legislation will discourage people from working more hours or entering the workforce, and other provisions will encourage them to work more.”

. . . “More bad news for American families,” was how Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s office described the report in a release. “Since day one Republicans have opposed Obamacare for a simple reason: it would destroy jobs. Minority Leader Pelosi, Leader Reid and others said we were wrong. Guess not," said John Murray, deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Eric Cantor. [Full Story]

Tags: Obamacare, Health Care, Health Care Reform, Jobs, Lost Jobs, Unemployment, Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Cut The CRAP - Sprucing Up Mold Ridden Apartments Before They Are Torn Down - $1.5 Million

Bill Smith, Editor: The following is taken from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) annual “Wastebook” Monday, discussing 100 spending projects that squandered $11.5 billion of public money this year. The following is part of series of articles where that will be run drawing on Coburn's 2010 Wastebook and other sources to identify government funded waste. We are going to call the series Cut the CRAP which represents depending on the situation (Congress' Reckless Addiction to Pork) or (Congress' Reckless Allowance of Piss-Poor-Performance).

Our 1st Report was: Cut The CRAP - Upkeep of Unused VA Monkey House - $175 Million

If you are angry with the waste, leave a comment, but most of all forward the example to your congressional representative and Senators and tell them to "Cut the CRAP." Let your friends know about the waste. And get involved with organizations opposing government fraud, waste, and abuse. However, if you are happy with the pork project, share with us why you believe the government should be taxing others and in-debting our even grandchildren for the project.

Sprucing Up Apartments Before They Are Torn Down -
(Shreveport, LA) $1.5 Million
The city of Shreveport, Louisiana misspent $1.5 million in stimulus funds on mold remediation for a housing complex it was considering for demolition, according to a federal audit.8

To obtain the stimulus money, the city‘s housing authority promised the federal government it would spend the money on improving a number of low-income homes it managed. Those projects included a mere $100,000 for combating mold and mildew at an apartment complex named Wilkinson Terrace.

More than ten months after awarding the grant to Shreveport, officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development noticed the city had failed to spend most of the money. Under the rules of the stimulus, the money was to have been spent within one year. The agency reminded Shreveport that the funds needed to be put to work, or they would be rescinded.

In the span of a few weeks, Shreveport officials cut contracts worth over $1.5 million for mold remediation at Wilkinson Terrace – fifteen times what they told the feds they would spend, and much more than a site facing possible demolition likely deserved. As the HUD Inspector General noted in an audit of the troubled grant, ― if the Authority‘s ultimate plan was to demolish the Wilkinson Terrace site in the next few years, the prudency of its decision. . . should be further questioned.

What‘s more, when the IG‘s investigators examined Wilkinson Terrace, it found the contractors had failed to do the work properly. ― [T]he inspected units had what appeared to be pest excrement caked on surfaces that were to have been cleaned and disinfected, the IG wrote.The audit concluded that Shreveport should return over $1.1 million in misspent federal funds. The city disputes the IG‘s findings.

Tags: US Congress, CRAP, Cut the Crap, mold, condemned apartments, Shreveport, Louisiana To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Union Boss calls proponents of spending cuts "mentally retarded"

On February 8th members of the American Federation of Government Employees picketed outside the Capitol demanding more taxpayer dollars for their already bloated salary and benefits. We caught up with AFGE President John Gage who told us those who say federal pay should be cut are "mentally retarded". Tell Mr. Gage you believe cutting spending is actually very sane at

Tags: unions, high wages, AFGE, John Gage, AFP To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Why Every Arkansas Republican Should Co-Sponsor HB1292, The Illegal Alien Bill

Debbie Pelley
Debbie Pelley, Opinion Column: Representative Jon Hubbard filed HB1292, An Act To Prohibit Illegal Aliens From Receiving Any State Benefit Except In Instances of Emergency Or When Life-Saving Measures Are Required. As of now it has four Co-sponsors: Deffenbaugh, Eubanks, Harris, Stubblefield.  Following are several reasons why every Republican should sign on as a co-sponsor to this bill. If even most of the Republicans would become a co-sponsor, the media would not be able to marginalize any of them.

1.Arkansans are more united on this issue in not wanting to give benefits to illegal aliens than any other issue in Arkansas or the nation. Nationwide 89% of Republicans oppose benefits for illegal aliens.
  • In a KAIT-8 poll in 2010, 94% said they would vote for a state constitutional amendment to deny state social services to illegal immigrants. A similar poll in 2008 had the same results.
  • A Rasmussen Report poll shows an astounding 83% of Americans believe that illegal aliens should not have access to "government health care subsidies".
  • About 72% of voters said it's "very important" for "the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration." The figure jumped to 89% among Republicans, while 65% of Democrats and 63% of unaffiliated voters believed enforcement is "very important."  Rasmussen Poll
  • This is a winning issue for Republicans, and Republicans should take advantage of it.
2. Republican legislators have a responsibility to the conservatives who put them in office to co-sponsor this bill and make it a priority.
  • Eighty-nine percent of Republicans favor reducing illegal immigration.
  • Secure Arkansas gathered 78,000 signatures according to their records, and the Secretary of State confirmed the number submitted as 67,542 signatures, which would have been enough to satisfy the requirement for the initiative to become law (but not enough to meet the requirement for a constitutional amendment, the goal of the petition in 2010).
  • Republicans legislators, as our representatives, should not sit on the sidelines while citizens put in thousands and thousands of hours in labor (and money) to get a law passed limiting benefits for illegal aliens, especially when a large majority of both parties support such a law
  • Senior legislators should support those freshman legislators who have the courage to sponsor these bills.
3. In Arkansas, there was a 437% increase of Hispanics from 1990 to 2003, the first or second in the nation and a 124.7% increase in Hispanic students in the last ten years.
  • In 2010 (according to Department of Education website) Arkansas had a 124.7% increase in Hispanic students in the last ten years. That gives a good indication of how many illegal aliens are coming to Arkansas. The per pupil spending in 2007 was $8,348 and is even more now; per pupil spending is even higher for students not speaking English well. At least 2/3 to 3/4 of these students are either illegal or are anchor babies since it takes at least five years to become legalized. Very few of them could have become legal in the last ten years. According to a court decision Arkansas is required to educate the illegal aliens and by federal law has to provide emergency medical care for them, but we don't have to become a magnet for them so we have to spend enormous amounts of money for these required expenses.
  • The University of Arkansas in a recent seminar actually said we will see a much greater influx of illegal aliens than ever before in the near future because Arkansas is "soft" on illegal aliens. Their goal was to help them, however, not hinder them; they outlined several avenues that would encourage illegal aliens to come to Arkansas.
  • The size of the United States Hispanic community grew by 3.1% in 2009 to 48.4 million people, or 15.8% of the total population, the largest minority in a country that is ever more diverse, the Census Bureau said Thursday.
4. Republicans are supposed to stand for fiscal responsibility. Eliminating benefits for illegal aliens would be equivalent to reducing taxes, especially now that the University of Arkansas in a seminar actually said we will see a much greater influx of illegal aliens than ever before in the future because Arkansas is "soft" on illegal aliens.
  • Republicans talk about lowering taxes in this session so why not co-sponsor the illegal alien bill that will save us more money than anyone can probably imagine.
  • Governor Beebe even admitted that legal status is not even verified before benefits are awarded in several departments. Republicans should have made an issue of Governor Beebe's admission that he "misspoke." Getting attention to this illegal alien bill would still give the opportunity to show how Governor Beebe and the Democrats are NOT fiscally responsible.
  • "U.S. taxpayers are giving more than $9,000 a year in cash or benefits to each immigrant, a third of who are illegal aliens. That's $36,000 for each immigrant household of four." Quoted from Eagle Forum at this link: Eagle Forum quotes from a detailed study "The Fiscal Impact of Immigration, An Analysis of the Costs to 15 Federal Departments and Agencies. Every legislator should read these articles.
5. On the national level the Republicans have established opposition to illegal immigration as a Republican issue.
  • Republicans at the state level should establish themselves as the party opposing illegal immigration as well so voters concerned about this issue will know how to vote.
  • Republicans should make every legislator take a stand on the illegal alien issue so voters can see who stands up for the law of our land. We conservatives don't see this happening. Instead it appears that Republicans are ignoring the elephant in the room and actually sponsoring bills to increase fees like doubling fees for certificates of title, etc.
6. Republican legislators and candidates who said they signed the Secure Arkansas petition or would sign it if it were presented to them should have no trouble signing on as a co-sponsor to this bill.
  • Last summer a few women called and/or emailed every legislator and several candidates to see if they signed or would sign the petition to deny benefits to illegal aliens.  Almost every Republican said he/she had signed it or would sign it if it were presented to him/her. Republicans wanted people to know they supported the petition.
  • Then shouldn't the Republicans step up to the plate now and co-sponsor this bill that would do pretty much do the same thing the petition required?
7. Other states, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, and others, have filled some strong anti illegal alien bills. Illegal aliens are fleeing those states and coming to Arkansas.
  • A quote from a newspaper article reads: Tens of thousands of Hispanics have left the Tulsa area because of a tough law passed there. It is reported that "Most immigrants are ending up in either Kansas or Arkansas."
  • Arkansas has passed nothing that compares with the other states. Arkansas is left as a magnet to attract illegal aliens.
  • Even, "Newly elected Maine Governor Paul LePage, in one of his first acts in office, signed an executive order allowing state agents to check immigration status of individuals they come in contact with."
  • Link to some of the laws other states have passed.
8. Arkansas is only one of eleven states in the nation that has made it legal to give prenatal care to illegal aliens. I think this was accomplished just through the governor's handiwork. Some good Republican needs to represent the voters and  file a bill on this issue.
Debbie Pelley is Retired Arkansas Teacher of 27 years. She is presently a grassroots citizen activist, researcher and writer who advocates for the Arkansans and for transparent and limited government.

Tags: Arkansas, legislature, House, Representative, Jon Hubbard, HB1292, illegal aliens, prohibiting, state benefits, Debbie Pelley To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama's Dichotomy: Proposing Tax Hikes On Businesses While Pushing For Job Creation

"This Egypt Thing"
The Senate is in recess until Monday, Feb. 14th so Senate Democrats can attend their retreat in Charlottesville, Virginia. It appears there are dissenters in the ranks. Today, first term Sen Jim Webb (D-VA) announced he will not run for office in 2012.

When the Senate is back in session, they will continue with S. 223, the FAA reauthorization bill and any legislation that Sen. Leader Harry Reid is willing to put forth.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Barack Obama's budget proposal is expected to give states a way to collect more payroll taxes from businesses, in an effort to replenish the unemployment-insurance program. . . . The proposal would aim to restock strained state unemployment-insurance trust funds by raising the amount of wages on which companies must pay unemployment taxes to $15,000, more than double the $7,000 in place since 1983.”

The Journal notes, “The plan could cause controversy at a time when the administration is seeking to mend fences with corporate America.” In fact, it was just Monday that President Obama spoke in front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he said, “Ask yourselves what you can do to hire more American workers, what you can do to support the American economy and invest in this nation . . . .”

And yet Obama is now proposing a budget that would raise taxes on job creators. Meanwhile, Reuters notes that the hike on unemployment taxes isn’t the only tax increase being considered in the president’s budget. “Corporate America is expecting a revival of proposals to tighten international tax rules in President Barack Obama's proposed 2012 budget, to be released on Monday.”

Among the tax increases being proposed, Reuters reports, are several on oil, gas and coal companies that are expected to generate $38 billion. And just yesterday, Senate Democrats wrote to the White House urging a similar tax increase of “more than $20 billion.”

This push from Democrats to raise taxes on energy production comes at a time of record gas prices. According to Politico’s Morning Energy yesterday, “The average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. is higher now than in any other February in history, according to new data released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration.”

Maybe both sides of President Obama's brain don't think at the same time or his true beliefs and narrative for the public often conflict. At the moment Obama's Dichotomy is that he says for the public, “We need to make America the best place on Earth to do business,” but at the same time he is proposing new taxes on small businesses and larger corporations, making it ever more expensive and difficult for them to hire new workers. Unfortuantely, the public for the first time in modern history has been denied being able to see any of his college transcripts. It would be good to know if he ever took any business courses in his undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The question is simple, if the president and Democrats in Congress want to create jobs, why are they proposing tax hikes that will make job creation more difficult? The constant rhetoric, e.g., propaganda, from both the White House and the Democrat leaders in Congress are in conflict with their actions and the needs of the Nation.

Tags: Washington, D.C., Barack Obama, dichotomy, US Senate, US House, democrats, tax hikes, taxes, spending, taxes, jobs, businesses To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Just In -- More Election Returns! Unfortunately, Hold Outs in Arkansas

Bill Smith, Editor: Gary Bauer highlights some great news which has been identified in bits and pieces in the news. Democrats are losing ground in the South as Democrats who are at heart conservatives and not liberals are are walking across the isle and changing parties. Unfortunately, this has not happened in Arkansas -- yet! However, it should be.

As I have detailed before, the term "conservative democrat" is an oxymoron. However, today the emphasis is on "moron." Only a moron would continue to associate with a group with which they have no common philosophical belief. A person may marry and love a person with different beliefs, but politics is not marriage. Politics is also not ancestral - you were not born a progressive liberal democrat.

I will concede that some elected officials "may be" borderline fiscally conservative while in all other areas they are a liberal. oever, this is even hard to believe because a liberal always wants to spend other people's money. Of course a person can be an Arkansas Beebe style fiscally conservative who plans the taking of the people's money first and then spending only what they planned to take. This is  like crooks spending no more than they took through theft and deception. But even when one is Dem-lite." they eventually slip into wanting more and more use of "other people's money." The result is more robbery via taxes, fees, and debt by deceptive bonding initiatives.

For those democrats claiming to be supporters of the Constitution (not Pelosi's or Obama's view of the Constitution) and to be fiscal conservative seeking to control the growth and to reduce the size of big government and to stop imposing unfunded mandates on the Counties, Cities and communities, you are lying to  yourself and your constituents. You are preventing conservative progress in Arkansas. You should be following the example of other Southerners mentioned in Bauer's article and walk across the isle and join the Republicans. It is that easy, once a person settles in their mind and soul to do the right thing.

If you are a democrat claiming to be a fiscal conservatives, a national defense conservative, and a traditional values conservative or even two out of the three, stop perpetuating a lie that you are a democrat. You are compromising your beliefs and advancing a liberal party's politics which you indicate that you do not believe. Save your children, grandchildren from progressive liberalism. Walk across the political isle. Join us! As Republicans, we will not always agree and in fact some may indeed be insufferable. But that is not the point. You are not a fishing, hunting or having fun with friends. You are supposed to be representing the people of Arkansas on the right side of as a conservative.

Dedicated military members in harms-way find that fear and the realization of their own mortality is real but they can still sleep in the midst of conflict. Why, because they know they are morally on the right side and their buddies, whom believe as they do, have their back. If you are conservative in the Democrat Party, who has your back as you represent your constituents? Is it the liberals? If you are pro-life, is it the pro-death advocates? If you are pro-Arkansas workers and jobs for Arkansans, is it your open borders colleague or liberals who are restricting the growth of business? Join us on the right side! You will perform better because you will not be hiding behind the false label as a liberal. If you fear loosing friends, they never were your friends.

It is time for closet conservatives to declare themselves free and independent of the Party of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi. Help save Arkansas!

Also, it is time for elected Republicans to stand with all conservative positions and to stop compromising with Democrats. You cannot advance conservatism by playing for the other team!

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: You probably thought that the elections were over, but there are new results coming in and they are dramatically reshaping the political landscape. Don't worry -- these aren't new ballots that have been found. Instead it seems some politicians are finding their brains.

Since the November elections, at least 30 elected Democrats have switched parties in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Last week, Buddy Caldwell, Louisiana's attorney general, switched to the GOP. His defection leaves Senator Mary Landrieu as the only Democrat holding state-wide office in the Bayou State. And the trend continues -- another Louisiana state representative switched parties yesterday!

One respected political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta blames the "increased liberalization" of the Democrat Party for the defections. Every legislator quoted in the media agreed with that analysis.

Yesterday brought even more evidence of the demise of "moderate" Democrats: The Democratic Leadership Council announced that it was shutting down. The DLC was formed in 1985 to pull the Democrat Party back to the center after Ronald Reagan's landslide victory over Walter Mondale. The election of Bill Clinton as a "New Democrat" was considered a triumph for the DLC.

But in the Age of Obama, the DLC can't compete with the likes of, CodePink and the myriad of left-wing groups that dominate today's Democrat Party.

Tags: Liberals, Conservatives, Democrats, Democrat Party, Republican party, The South, changing political party, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Dem Leaders Call For Tax Hikes

Despite ‘Record’ Gas Prices, Dem Leaders Call For A ‘Minivan Tax’ That Their Own Dem Colleagues Rejected Last Week

DEM LEADERS: ‘We Urge You’ To Raise Taxes By ‘More Than $20 Billion’

SENS. REID, DURBIN, SCHUMER, MURRAY & OTHERS: “We Urge You To Consider Ending A Number Of Tax Loopholes And Other Subsidies That Benefit Big Oil And Gas Companies. Closing These Loopholes Would Save The Federal Government More Than $20 Billion Over 10 Years.” (Sens. Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Murray, Bill Nelson, Menendez, Cardin, Sherrod Brown, Whitehouse, & Gillibrand, Letter To Speaker Boehner, 2/8/11)

“GAS PRICES – The Average Price Of Regular Gasoline In The U.S. Is Higher Now Than In Any Other February In History, according to new data released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration. The $3.132 average is slightly higher than the previous record of $3.13 on Feb. 25, 2008, when prices were on the way to more than $4 a gallon by that summer.” (Politico’s ‘Morning Energy’ Blog, 2/8/11)

Dem Controlled Senate Rejected A Similar Energy Tax Hike Just Last Week

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) Offered Another Amendment To Repeal The [1099] Provision But Paid For It By Issuing New Taxes On Oil Companies.” (“Senate Repeals Part Of Health Care Law,” Politico, 2/2/11)

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): “We Would Reform Unjustified Tax Expenditures Related To Oil And Gas Production By Large Oil Companies, companies that are enormously profitable with or without these tax expenditures.” (Sen. Carl Levin, Remarks, 2/2/11)

BI-PARTISAN REJECTION OF ENERGY TAX HIKES: Sens. Begich, Bingaman, Conrad, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Pryor, And Webb Voted Against The Levin Amendment. (S.Amdt.28 to S.223, CQ Vote #7; Amendment Rejected 44-54: R 0-48; D 42-7; I 1-0, Begich, Bingaman, Conrad, Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Pryor, And Webb Voted Nay, 2/2/11)

Tags: Democrat, Senators, tax hikes To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrat Leaders Serving Kool Aid - More Spending Mixed With Increasing Taxes

The Senate resumed consideration of S. 223, the FAA reauthorization bill.  This morning, they voted 96-1 to adopt an amendment from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) striking a section from the bill that would have transferred some responsibility for aeronautics research away from NASA. Yesterday, the Senate unanimously confirmed 3 district judge nominees.

The Senate is expected to adjourn for the week early this afternoon, so Senate Democrats can attend their retreat out of town. Appears that Reid's delay in bringing the Senate back into session was not enough for them to whip all the democrats into line. ; And with CPAC in Washington, D.C. this week, the democrats sure don't want those conservatives knocking on their office doors. 

At the White House, consider the posturing of insanity or blatant lies! Which option do you prefer? Two days after President Obama told millions of people watching him, “I didn’t raise taxes once,” The White House advances a plan for jobs that raise taxes on job creators. Unbelievable. Their solution: enslave the golden goose and starve it to death.

This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “In their Monthly Budget Review, the Congressional Budget Office said that if the current spending levels are frozen at the same level as they are now, and Congress were to enact no other legislation affecting spending or revenues, the federal government would end this fiscal year with a deficit of $1.5 trillion—or about $200 billion more than the deficit Democrats ran last year.

“In other words, even if we don’t add another dime to the current spending levels, the deficit will get even worse than last year. That’s what would happen under the President’s best offer, which is to lock in the dramatically higher spending levels from the past two years and put the budget on cruise control. The deficit wouldn’t stand still — it will grow by $200 billion, over the next several months.

“So yesterday’s predictions by the CBO should be a wakeup call to anyone who thinks they can hide behind a spending freeze.”

Apparently even some Democrats are realizing that this is an untenable situation. Politico notes that Democrat senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), and Mark Warner (D-VA) joined GOP senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and Mike Crapo (R-ID) to discuss reviving proposals from the president’s deficit commission, none of which he mentioned in his State of the Union address. Politico writes, “Democrats admit their own frustration that the president has not been more forthcoming in addressing the debt issue. For example, ‘The Easy Cuts Are Behind Us’ was the headline for a weekend op-ed by White House Budget Director Jack Lew promising that Obama’s 2012 budget will ‘look beyond the obvious’ in cutting spending. But Lew is already months behind his fellow Democrats on one of his prime examples — cuts from the Great Lakes restoration initiative.”

Roll Call reports, “Other Democrats have been pushing hard for steep spending cuts. Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) recently signed on to a proposed spending cap that would slash trillions in spending over the coming decade, telling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her own party is in ‘denial’ over how big the problem is. Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (N.D.) has also struggled to get his fellow Democrats to support a multitrillion-dollar deficit reduction package, with many Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) averse to touching Social Security.”

Yet according to Roll Call, Democrat leaders are apparently planning to ignore the debt problem and instead attack House Republicans for daring to cut spending. “Democrats smell an opportunity to define House Republicans as irresponsible and unready to govern when they vote on the specific details of their budget cuts in the next two weeks. . . . Democrats are gearing up to take on the cuts as extreme and damaging to a host of popular programs, according to leadership aides on both sides of the Capitol. But they don’t want to be seen as merely defenders of big government either, and they acknowledge the public’s concern about the deficit. ‘It’s definitely going to be threading the needle,’ one senior House Democratic aide said.”

But if Democrat leaders are simply going to attack proposals to cut spending, can they be taken seriously when they proclaim their shared concern about the deficit? Obviously, not; but, they will be serving their fellow democrats the "Kool Aid" this week at their retreat.

As Leader McConnell said today, the new CBO projections mean we can no longer continue down the road of greater spending which the Democrats put the country on over the last two years. “This is a dire warning that business as usual is a recipe for disaster. If we don’t immediately reduce the size and scope of the federal government, the deficit will be even bigger than last year’s record deficit.”

Tags: US Senate, US House, CBO, democrats, Kool Aid, spending, taxes, FAA reauthorization To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Considering Prosecutorial / Judicial Misuse or Abuse of the Arkansas Animal Cruelty Laws

Update Oct 13, 2013: I am pleased to report that the charges against Mark have finally been dropped by the prosecutor without the case having to be heard in circuit court. Three long years, but we can put this behind us and move on. ~ Renee Taylor

Update Sept 10, 2011: It took 17 months to correct the travesty and injustice of judge convicting Private Investigator Mark Taylor for shooting a dog on his own land to protect his son. His conviction has been overturned by a judge on appeal. Arkansas 10th Judicial Circuit Judge Sam Pope dropped all charges against Mr. Taylor. According to a source, Judge Pope told the attorneys he would have done the same thing in Taylor's shoes. Justice was served on appeal today!

It was a travesty that the original judge and prosecutor took extreme actions against Mr. Taylor when the Arkansas law is quite clear. There were no witnesses, only Taylor's testimony in a case brought by a convicted felon who was not even around to take care of or restrain the dog. As detailed in the original article, the judge ruled in previous case involving another person, a dog, and chickens that the killing of the dog was justified. Chickens verses a child? Strange rulings with potentially both personal and political undertones in Judge Anderson's rulings and the actions by the County Prosecutor who did not have to bring forth these cases.  Anderson had also been Taylor's previous attorney.  What happened to recusing oneself? Unfortunately, Judge Bruce Anderson singular action against Mr. Taylor has yet to have an appropriate judicial accounting.

In a followup with the Taylor family, they said they were grateful that this episode is now over and they can focus on their family and their business - The Taylor Company - Private Investigations and Research. In addition to their business both Taylors are national writers. Mark Taylor had some interesting experiences as a private military contractor in Iraq which are chronicled in the book "A Bloody Business" by Col. Gerald Schumacher. They also have a new song called "3 Licenses, 4 Logbooks and a Thermos Made of Chrome" released by Truck It Records' recording artist, Joey Holiday. The song, co-written by Holiday and the Taylors, tells the story of Skyhawk - a 70s era trucker and is available on Amazon.

By Dr. Bill Smith: When Arkansas passed the new animal cruelty laws in 2009, “safeguards” were in place to protect property owners against frivolous lawsuits and charges when protecting their properties, persons and livestock from the threat of roaming dogs of irresponsible pet owners. Or, did it? The law was untested and left to individual municipalities to sort out.

It was in the courtroom of Judge Bruce Anderson, Bradley County District judge, in Warren, Arkansas that the first two cases of that county were tried, two remarkably similar cases with inexplicably different results.

The first case involved Mr. John Fierce. Mr. Fierce appeared before Judge Anderson, represented by Ken Harper, Esq. Mr. Fierce was accused of shooting a Labrador mix which was left to roam the neighborhood while its owner was at work. The Labrador, according to court testimony, had killed Mr. Fierce’s chickens in the past and the owner had not responded to his requests to keep the animal restrained. Mr. Fierce, upon seeing the animal in his yard, shot the dog based upon the past experience of the dog killing his chickens.

The second case involved Mark R. Taylor who was also represented by the same Mr. Harper. Taylor was accused of shooting and killing a pit bull belonging to Maxley Parker. Parker had a camper trailer parked on the property of Rayburn and Elois Taylor. It was the policy of Briar Patch RV Park that pets must be kept restrained and, while Parker’s camper was parked in an area of their farm outside the park, near Mark Taylor’s home, he was, according to court testimony, told the animal had to be retrained. Parker disappeared in the summer of 2009, leaving his camper in its spot and his pit bull to roam the neighborhood, killing animals on the Taylor farm and terrorizing neighbors. When the pit bull charged Mrs. Betty Doss and then Mark Taylor’s own son, Rayburn and Elois asked Mark’s assistance.

Two cases: similar circumstances, same prosecutor, same defense attorney, same judge. In both cases, an animal whose actions had presented clear and present danger was allowed to roam unrestrained throughout the neighborhood. In both cases, the dog owner showed no remorse or concern over the actions of their pets. Neither man had a criminal record.

On July 23, 2010, Mr. Fierce received his verdict. Not guilty. Judge Anderson’s opinion was that due to the past actions of the Labrador mix, the killing Mr. Fierce’s chickens was enough to justify his actions.

On July 22, 2010, Mark Taylor received his verdict. Guilty. Taylor was sentenced to 24 hours in jail, mandatory psychiatric evaluation and possible counseling at his expense and a $350 fine. While the verdict did not award restitution that Parker requested for his dog, it further stated that Parker could file a civil suit against Taylor. He immediately filed an appeal with the Bradley County Circuit Court. That case is due for trial the week of March 21, 2011. Taylor was convicted on a charge filed with Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen’s office by a claimant who only came to him with third-hand knowledge of what happened to his dog. “Parker didn’t even know who Mark was until the day we arrived in court,” said Taylor’s wife, Renee.

What precedents do the rulings of Judge Bruce Anderson set for the rest of the state? Does the cruelty to animals’ statute place the risk of injury or death of an animal, such as a chicken, over the risk of injury or death of a human, such as Mr. Taylor’s neighbor or his son? In Judge Anderson’s courtroom, this seems to be the case.

Act 33, the Arkansas Cruelty to Animals Act allows for exemption if one is protecting a persons or a person’s property from damage and humanely killing an animal on the property of the person if the person is acting as a reasonable person would act under similar circumstances and if the animal is reasonably believed to constitute a threat to the physical injury or damage to any animal under the care or control of the person. In both cases, Mr. Fierce and Mr. Taylor were acting reasonably to protect property, animals and people from dogs allowed to roam free by irresponsible owners.

Are all Arkansans at risk of rogue judges imposing dangerous interpretation of a vague law? Are we at risk of seeing the lives of stray dogs and cats placed above the welfare of humans? Will we be at risk of being hauled into court because someone told someone else who told another that you shot his dog? The implications of the law are staggering to law-abiding property owners, as they face large attorney’s fees, time lost from work to appear in court and, as in the Taylor case, the possibility of a criminal record all because of irresponsible pet owners.

Another important factor is the financial implications of this law. What if the Taylors did not have the resources to even get the appeals process started? Renee Taylor revealed that “this appeal has been a financial strain but we had to appeal because it was not right for Mark to be found guilty for protecting his son and neighbors.” She indicated that they may even have to sell property for future attorney fees. So far, they have paid $2500 and it definitely looks like there will be more costs. Then, we must also consider the income lost for all the court appearances.

However, the irresponsible owner of the dog, a convicted felon with an extensive record, is out pocket nothing. Fortunately, in the first mentioned case, Mr. John Fierce did not have to appeal and thus did not incur additional costs as he was found not guilty for fearing that more of his chickens might be killed. But Mr. Mark Taylor was found guilty for protecting his child and neighbor from a dog allowed to roam by its owner.

After reading the written verdicts in both cases before the judge, it appears to this author that there might have been bias by the judge in the Taylor case. Others are invited to review the labored effort by the judge to justify a verdict of guilty. There was no finding of fact as to Mr. Taylor being biased against pit-bulls terriers. But it appears to be that of judge had his opinion as to prevailing bias against the breed. Based on having reviewed numerous Federal cases, this labored effort by Judge Anderson caught my attention.

As a result, another question was asked the Taylors, “Did either of them have any prior personal or business activity with of Judge Bruce Anderson?" Renee Taylor identified that Judge Bruce Anderson had been Mark Taylor’s former corporate attorney and that they had had other issues with him in the past when he was assistant prosecutor. She shared that she had called Anderson “an idiot and sorry excuse of a lawyer for sending us a letter” on a personal family issue.

Inquiries to other Arkansas District judges which described the general prior relationship of a judge and the defendant but not the case or its outcome garnered the opinion that the judges would have “recused” themselves from hearing the case. So, why didn’t Judge Anderson recuse himself?

After the above review, this author questions the injustice done in the Taylor case. Based on the law and on the actual situations of the above two cases, why did the prosecutor even bring these cases to trial? The safeguards have previously been discussed by the legislature. Under the Arkansas Constitution, County Prosecutors have sole discretion as to which cases they wish to pursue in their jurisdiction? Was this prosecutor trying to redefine Arkansas law? Did he have grudges against these two defendants? Is he an animal rights activist?

And, why did the judge make the correct decision in the first case, but a questionable if not incorrect decision in the second case? Why didn’t the judge recuse himself after having previously represented or having had differences with the defendant or his family? Most rural Arkansans would have done the same as both Mr. Fierce and Mr. Taylor. Is the Judge an animal rights activist? Why did the Judge order Mr. Taylor to undergo psychological evaluation with respect to shooting a roaming “pit bull” dog? Was the Judge seeking to affect Taylor’s present occupation?

Animal cruelty laws are necessary to prevent mistreatment to animals. However, after discussion with members of the legislature, it is more than questionable that the Arkansas legislators intended the application of the term “cruelty to animals” to be used to punish rural Arkansans for putting down rogue or unattended dogs in rural locations. In fact, all parties asked said that it was not the intent of the law. Barring testimony to the opposite (not the opinion of a judge) the “Castle doctrine” of protecting one’s property and family should extend to any person making a judgment on their property to “put down” a dog or other animal that they believe may injure humans or livestock on their property or on another’s property when assistance is being rendered.

Before the reputations of more Arkansans are damaged, before more jobs are placed at risk, before more family financial resources are consumed, and before any further enforcement of the animal cruelty laws are enforced, more education on the law is necessary for law enforcement, prosecutors and, of course, judges! Legislators are encouraged to re-evaluate their former efforts and reaffirm or even improve the “safeguards” placed in effect to protect property owners against frivolous lawsuits and charges when protecting their properties, persons and livestock from the threat of roaming dogs belonging to or abandoned by irresponsible pet owners.
Dr. Bill Smith is the editor for the ARRA News Service and a contributor to other publications.  He retired from the Air Force as a Federal Acquisitions  Contracting Officer rendering contract decisions on multi-million dollar as well as billion dollar contracts after reviewing precedent legal cases.  While he has had cases appealed to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, this Court never reversed  or overturned his  decisions.  None of his decisions were ever appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tags: Warren, Arkansas, animal cruelty laws, animal cruelty, legislator, Judge, Bruce Anderson, Bradley County District Judge, trials, precedence, appeals, roaming dogs, danger to humans, Arkansas law, John Fierce, Mark Taylor, rogue judges, Arkansas legislature, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

More Voters Still Think Federal Govt Encourages Illegal Immigration

Rasmussen Reports:  Most voters continue to believe that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, but voters are now almost evenly divided over whether it's better to let the federal government or individual states enforce immigration laws.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, comparable to findings in October 2009 . . .   Twenty-one percent (21%) disagree and say the federal government does not encourage illegal immigration through its actions, but another 22% aren't sure.

Forty-seven percent (47%) say relying on the federal government to enforce immigration laws is a better approach than allowing individual states to act on their own to enforce them. Forty-four percent (44%) take the opposite view and say the better approach is to allow states to enforce immigration laws, but that's down 11 points from September. . . . [Full Article]

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, federal government, promotes illegal immigration, illegal aliens, illegals To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama / WH Rhetoric On Working With Business Doesn't Match Reality Of Job-Stifling Policies

by Lisa Benson at Townhall/td>
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb. 7, 2011 - The Senate will reconvene this afternoon at 2 PM today and will resume consideration of S. 223, the FAA reauthorization bill. At 4:30 PM, the Senate will proceed to executive session to consider 3 district court nominees. Following an hour of debate, the Senate will vote on confirming the nominees.

President Obama spoke at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today where he urged cooperation and asked business leaders to support his economic agenda. The Wall Street Journal noted the Chamber includes “some of his toughest business critics” and points out, “Chamber and White House officials clashed during Mr. Obama's first two years in office over the president's health-care and financial-markets regulatory overhauls, as well as environmental rules and tax policies.”

Yet the president’s outreach to the business community seems to once again be more rhetoric than reality. According to the AP, “White House officials say Obama's speech will not break new policy ground, nor will he offer an olive branch.”

Indeed, today’s speech appears to be part of a pattern where President Obama will double down on policies harmful to business and job creation like his unpopular health care bill, the complicated Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, or EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, but then the White House will declare a new outreach to the business community to smooth things over.

One year ago, The Washington Post reported, “Declaring himself an ‘ardent believer in the free market,’ President Obama tried to rally business leaders Wednesday to support the administration's goals of health-care reform, climate legislation and financial regulation.” In July of last year, after Democrats in Congress pushed through the health care and financial regulation bills, Politico wrote, “The White House has launched a coordinated campaign to push back against the perception taking hold in corporate America and on Wall Street that President Barack Obama is promoting an anti-business agenda.” In November, The Washington Post wrote, “President Obama is moving to cool down his war with the United States Chamber of Commerce, one of the most bitter political feuds of the last two years.” And a month later The Post reported, “The Republicans in Congress aren't the only people the White House is trying to make peace with. President Obama will meet Wednesday with a group of 20 chief executives, including the heads of American Express, Google and UBS, as he continues a persistent but at times unsuccessful effort to win the business community's trust.”

And yet little has changed in the way of policy. As the WSJ reported last month, “President Barack Obama's government-wide review of federal regulations will have little effect on two of the president's major regulatory victories: an overhaul of Wall Street and the health-care market, according to a White House budget official.” And according to a report in today’s Journal, “The Environmental Protection Agency, which enforces rules that affect the U.S. economy from factories to farms, is the No. 1 target of complaints from business groups collected by House Republican leaders. EPA rules were cited more than those from any other agency in more than 100 letters sent by trade associations, businesses and some conservative groups to House oversight committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) in response to his call for businesses to identify regulations they deemed burdensome, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.”

The Washington Post adds, “The Post reviewed more than 200 letters and reports that businesses sent to Issa targeting regulations across the federal government. The rules under scrutiny include familiar issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, health-care reform and the landmark Wall Street overhaul. . . . In their letters, business leaders express alarm about the slow pace of the economic recovery and what they characterize as the growing role government is playing in the private sector. ‘Business owners remain on edge regarding the tidal wave of federal government regulation that has been advanced or proposed over the past two years. . . .The pain of the harsh recession was intensified and lengthened by this hyper-regulatory environment,’ Karen Kerrigan, president of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, wrote in a Jan. 12 letter to Issa.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded to President Obama’s speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “President Obama has retooled his rhetoric, but not his job-destroying policies, which are eroding confidence, fostering uncertainty, and crowding out private investment. Far from changing tack, his administration is taking steps to protect the job-crushing regulations in its health care and permanent bailout laws, while plotting a backdoor national energy tax. Time and again, the Obama Administration has used its regulatory powers to go around Congress and impose hidden taxes on employers and small businesses. Instead of committing to much-needed spending cuts and reforms, President Obama has urged Congress to raise the debt limit and pass more ineffective ‘stimulus’ spending disguised as ‘investment.’  It’s clear from his policies that President Obama isn’t as interested in winning the future as he is in rigging it for big government.

“Instead of more regulations and more ‘stimulus’ spending, we need less spending, more freedom, and more certainty for those in America who create jobs.  With the Pledge to America, Republicans have a plan to get our economy back to creating jobs by stopping job-crushing federal mandates, cutting unnecessary spending, and ending the Washington spending binge.  This week, the new House majority will empower our committees to root out the rules and regulations that are making it harder to create jobs.  Last month, Congressman Geoff Davis introduced the REINS Act, common-sense legislation requiring congressional approval of any new regulation with an economic impact of more than $100 million. We’re also holding multiple hearings and seeking input from the nation’s employers and entrepreneurs as we work to free them from the tangle of red tape that undermines job creation.

“If President Obama is truly interested in what’s good for employers and best for our workers, he’ll listen to the American people and work with Republicans to break down barriers to job creation instead of creating new ones.”

With only 36,000 jobs added last month, it’s clear that more needs to be done to foster an environment where businesses can create new jobs. Unfortunately, the White House seems more focused on presenting the image of reaching out to business, instead of changing its policies that are stifling job creation.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, Barack Obama, rhetoric, Chamber of Commerce, business, jobs, unemployment, John Boehner, Lisa Benson To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Oklahoma City Pastor Defends Citizen's Right to Bear Arms

Note that in the in the discussion on the video, it is revealed that the original shooting that prompted the comments by the Chief of Police was a shooting of an officer by an ILLEGAL alien who illegally possessed a firearm. Also, note that since Oklahoma stopped its restriction of AR-15s, the murder rate has declined not increased in Oklahoma. What we have is response by a liberal biased Police Chief buying into the liberal left media instead of being thankful that the citizens of Oklahoma are prepared to defend themselves. It is tragic that we have another case of an illegal alien committing a felony in the Unites States.

Another point made is that the AR15 is NOT and assault rifle. [“AR” stands for Armalite rifle, not “assault rifle.” states, “AR-15 ‘style’ rifles are NOT assault weapons or rifles. An assault rifle is fully automatic – a machine gun.”]

Cam Edwards (NRA) talks to Pastor Tom Vineyard from Windsor Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, OK about his "Open Letter" - NRA News - January 24, 2011.

Below is a copy of the letter complements of AxXiom for Liberty: This letter was sent in response to a Bryan Dean’s January 17 article in the Oklahoman: “Oklahoma City Police Chief Laments Criminals’ Access to Military-Style Guns.”
Open Letter to Chief Bill Citty
January 19, 2011
Dear Chief Citty:

I want to start this letter by saying thank you for your 33 years of service in law enforcement. Having personally been the victim of a violent crime, I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am to all those who put their lives on the line every day in order to keep the citizenry safe.

Since 1985, the members of Windsor Hills Baptist Church have had the privilege of honoring city, county, and state law enforcement officers on our annual Law and Order Sunday. By our conservative estimation, we have honored approximately 300 such officers, of which at least 75 have been from the Oklahoma City Police Department. We even made efforts this last fall to invite Officer Katie Lawson in order to honor her.

I am writing this letter because of the January 16 article written by Bryan Dean that was printed in the January 17 Oklahoman. There are some things in the article that you were quoted as stating that I feel need to be addressed. Mr. Dean stated in the article that you see “no practical reason why someone needs an AR-15 or similar weapon.” A few paragraphs later you said, “There are just more and more assault rifles out there, and it is becoming a bigger threat to law enforcement each day. They [law enforcement] are outgunned.”

With all due respect, Chief Citty, I would like to point out a few things about the article and your comments in it. It needs to be clarified that there is a great difference between an AR-15 and an assault rifle. To place both in the same group is incorrect and misleading.

The Free Online Encyclopedia defines an assault rifle as a “military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and has the capacity to switch between semi-automatic and fully-automatic fire.” The definition goes on to state that “assault rifles have become the standard infantry weapon of modern armies. Their ease of handling makes them ideal for mobile assault troops crowded into personnel carriers or helicopters, as well as for guerilla fighters engaged in jungle or urban warfare.”

Please note that the U.S. M16, NOT the AR-15, is included on the list of Military/Assault rifles. The website additionally explains that sporting rifles based on the AR-15 cosmetically look like military rifles but do not function the same way that Military/Assault rifles do.

“AR” stands for Armalite rifle, not “assault rifle.” states, “AR-15 ‘style’ rifles are NOT assault weapons or rifles. An assault rifle is fully automatic – a machine gun.” The article goes on to state that the term “assault weapon” is a political term created by California anti-gun legislators in order to ban some semi-automatic rifles there in the 1980′s.

Additionally, NSSF states that the AR-15 style rifles fire “only one round with each pull of the trigger. Versions of the modern sporting rifles are legal to own in all 50 states, provided the purchaser passes the mandatory FBI background check required for all retail firearm purchases. AR-15 style rifles are no more powerful than other hunting rifles of the same caliber and in most cases are chambered in calibers less powerful than common big-game hunting cartridges like the 30-06 Springfield and .300 Win. Mag.”

Chief, may I respectfully remind you that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution assures the right and responsibility of individuals to protect themselves, their family, and their property: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

May I also respectfully remind you that the Constitution of our great state of Oklahoma clearly states in Section II-26: “The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.”

As a Christian and a pastor, I feel it my duty to also respectfully remind you that it is the God-given right and responsibility of every individual to protect themselves, their family, and their property.
  • Abraham armed his trained servants in Genesis 14:15 in order to recover Lot, his family, and his goods as well as everything else from Sodom. Abraham was just one man in a strange land.
  • David armed himself with the sword of Goliath in 1 Samuel 21:9. By 1 Samuel 25:13, every one of David’s men was armed with a sword.
  • When Nehemiah and the men of Jerusalem went to rebuilding the wall, they each had their sword girded by their side, working in the work with one hand and holding their weapon with the other. (Nehemiah 4:17-18)
  • Even the Lord Jesus Christ instructed His disciples who did not have a sword to go and buy one. (Luke 22:36)

This is just a few of the many examples that the Bible presents, from Abraham to Christ, of people who armed themselves with the preferred weapon of their time, the sword. We could very easily say that it was the AR-15 of their day.

Mr. Dean stated that you see “no practical reason why someone needs an AR-15 or similar weapon.” Again, with all due respect, Chief Citty, you have obviously never been the victim of a violent crime.

In just a few days, sir, will be the sixth anniversary of my family being robbed in our home while we were missionaries in Africa. Every day since then, when I look in the mirror to brush my teeth, wash my face, shave, or comb my hair, I see what I call my trophy from Africa, a scar on my forehead where I suffered a skull fracture from a rifle that was used on me while I was fighting to defend my family against five armed men who broke into our home. I nearly lost my hearing and my ear in the attack, and still have daily headaches to remind me of it.

Please understand that when they entered our home, we were unarmed. The law there in that country prohibited citizens from possessing firearms of any kind.

We cooperated with the thieves and even went so far as to show them where things were so that they could take what they wanted and then be on their way. For reasons we still do not know, they were unsatisfied with what we had and proceeded to tell us that they would kill our children if we did not give them more money. Chief, all that I had left that I could do to protect the lives of my children was to fight with my hands. It was not enough. To borrow your expression, I was “outgunned.”

Again, with all due respect, sir, I beg to differ with you that THERE IS a practical reason why someone needs an AR-15 or a similar weapon. If you and your family were ever robbed by someone who was armed while you were unarmed, you would understand.

You used the term “unscrupulous gun sellers.” How is it unscrupulous to engage in commerce? Are you implying that those who sold the gun did it with the intention of him shooting a police officer? Can you not see that to raise the restrictions on firearms such as the AR-15 is simply to take them out of the hands of law-abiding citizens but not out of the hands of the bad guys?

You stated that Officer Lawson was outgunned. I would like to ask why? From what I understand in talking to police officers, they are permitted to carry shotguns and even AR-15′s in their vehicles. Did she not have one? Is your department underfunded and unable to provide each officer on duty with a shotgun and AR-15? If so, may I help you in a fund raising effort to provide each on-duty officer with a shotgun and AR-15? I am confident that with the multitude of law-abiding citizens who are thankful for law enforcement that we could easily raise the needed funds to properly arm our law enforcement officers.

According to the December 31, 2010, article that Bryan Dean wrote, “Oklahoma City officer recounts night she was ambushed,” Mr. Dean reported that police carry their own AR-15 rifles in their cars, but that Lawson “never had a chance to retrieve hers.” So it is obvious that Officer Lawson was not completely outgunned; she was only taken by the element of surprise. What law could be passed to stop such a crime if the death penalty is already in effect in Oklahoma? The answer is NOT to prohibit law-abiding citizens from purchasing sporting rifles such as the AR-15.

The question was asked, “How does a teenager get an AR-15?” While an 18 year old is still a teenager, an 18 year old is also old enough to drive, to vote, and even to go serve our country in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is understandable that since the majority of 18 year olds are law-abiding citizens it is legal for them to purchase a firearm if they can afford it and so desire to do.

Chief, it is unacceptable that the military would trust some 18 year olds enough to send them overseas with a fully-automatic weapon in their hand to defend themselves and their country while at the same time you want to take semi-automatic sporting rifles out of those same law-abiding citizens’ hands in order to “make it harder for criminals to get such weapons.”

The article states that the gun was tracked to a dealer in Tulsa. The original sale was a legal sale. The weapon was tracked to its source. The shooter was found. Were you able to put it in his hand when he committed the crime? I believe the correct answer is yes. Adding extra hoops for law-abiding citizens to have to jump through will not keep criminals from breaking the law by shooting or killing someone. It makes absolutely no sense to cumber law-abiding citizens with even more regulation and further hinder them from protecting their families from those who have no regard for the law and will get and use guns even if they were completely outlawed and banned. It has been said that everywhere that gun regulation has been implemented, it is eventually followed by gun confiscation. Simply look across the pond to our friends in England and to those in the southern hemisphere in Australia as proof of this. Please understand that I am not implying this of you personally, but the reason that our founders included the 2nd Amendment in our Constitution was to protect the citizens from a government overstepping its bounds.

I challenge you to research the statistics in places such as Chicago, Washington D.C., Australia, and Great Britain where guns are prohibited. You will find that crimes with firearms still take place. More restrictive laws will not keep bad guys from committing crimes. Has the sign with the little pistol with the slash through it ever stopped a crime from being committed in places where firearms are forbidden? No, absolutely not! There are still school shootings like the one yesterday in California or the school board shooting in Florida. Even the shooting in Arizona would have most certainly turned out differently if the Safeway there had been “Concealed Carry” friendly.

At the end of the article, you said that officers are running into guns at a much higher rate now than they did 20 years ago, “even on routine traffic stops.”

A clarification of your term “guns” would be helpful. Are you speaking of the encyclopedia definition of a fully-automatic Military/Assault rifle, or a sporting AR-15 rifle, or are you speaking of the legal conceal carry pistols that law-abiding citizens are permitted to carry? Well, there is a problem if what you are referring to is the legally permitted conceal carry or even a rifle or shotgun without a round in the chamber.

Correct me if I am wrong, but does not Oklahoma law permit the transportation of firearms in the vehicle as long as there is not a round in the chamber? Are you speaking of those type guns that are legal under Oklahoma law?

I want to respectfully challenge your statement about running into guns at a much higher rate now than twenty years ago. I don’t know if you are from Oklahoma or how long you have been here, but when I was a teenager growing up here in Oklahoma, I remember seeing pickup trucks with gun racks carrying a rifle. Our school would play other schools in smaller, more rural towns where it was common to see them even in the pickups of the boys we played in football. That’s Oklahoma, Chief! Go back and study the statistics of shootings in smaller, rural towns. I am sure that you will find that while the guns in the back windows of pickups were common, the shootings were few and far between.

Oklahomans, in general, are good people, Chief. The majority of us are law-abiding citizens. We respectfully reserve the right to keep and bear our arms, even our AR’s, protecting ourselves and our families. It is our state Constitutional right. It is our U.S. Constitutional right. And if either or both of them were to be taken away from us, it is our God-given right!

God forbid that those who would seek to disarm the citizens of the United States or the citizens of Oklahoma ever get their way here as they have elsewhere. My personal sentiment is and my reaction will be that of Charlton Heston, “I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands!”

If our Oklahoma City police officers are truly outgunned, then let me help you get an AR in each of their patrol cars. I would like to boldly suggest though that the real problem is not the style of guns that citizens are allowed to possess, but the illegal immigrants who are the cause of many such crimes.

Mr. Dean’s article completely overlooked the fact that Mr. Hector Mercado who had previously been deported and was in the country illegally was pulled over for a traffic violation.

May I remind you, Chief Citty, that after HB 1804 was passed, law enforcement offices all across the state were permitted to cross-train some or all of their officers and deputies with ICE agents to help apprehend and deport illegal aliens. I would like to know if you have accepted this offer for Oklahoma City police. I am further going to research to see if Sheriff Whetsel has allowed his deputies to be trained in this program.

I think that I can confidently speak for the majority of law-abiding citizens in the state of Oklahoma that they would much rather you focus your attention upon the much more pertinent issue of illegal immigrants in our state and in Oklahoma City than to try to fabricate illegitimate reasons to regulate the state and country’s lawful liberty to keep and to bear arms.

Sincerely your friend and servant, Tom Vineyard, Pastor
Windsor Hills Baptist Church, 5517 N.W. 23rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73127 (405) 943-3326

Tags: Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, pastor, Tom Vineyard, gun rights, Second Amendment, NRA, NRA News, firearm, gun control, police Chief, Bill Citty, Chief Citty, AR-15, illegal alien To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Remembering Ronald Reagan and James Palmer

Bill Smith, Editor: I planned to write my own post on Ronald Reagan as I proudly served under President Reagan and had a small part in the efforts necessary to bring the Soviets to the table for the fist START Treaty.  Having seen the results of attacks of terrorist first hand, I remember well how President Reagan responded swiftly and decisively to the Islamist terrorist threats to military units in Europe.  However, for the following reason, I am sharing below today the excellent post by "Findalis" on the blog "Monkey in the Middle."  Hard to improve on excellent.

In the last three days, I have been occupied driving over 1000 miles to and from Northern Illinois to attend the funeral of a great man in my life. Mr. James Palmer was my uncle. He was also an Army WWII vet and part of the greatest generation.

James Adell Palmer, 87, of Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas died on Tuesday. He was born Sept. 6, 1923 in Orfordville, Wisconsin. He lived in Illinois and Wisconsin most of his life before moving to Arkansas in 1992. During the closing days of the WWII, he met the love of his life, Elizabeth, at Camp Grant, near Rockford, Illinois. She was delivering military supplies. At his death they were married 66 years. Jim and his wife became Christians within a few years of being married and they committed their life to being a Christian example to their children, family and friends. It was through them that I learned about Christ's love.

He was great not for the same reasons that people identify for President Ronald Reagan. Palmer was not an actor or President of the United States. But James Palmer was an honorable man who loved his God, his wife, children and grandchildren and others. He was a good father and provider for his family and a living Christian example to others. He was a conservative and a Republican and we often talked about politics and the events going on in the world. He prayed often for others, for country and for the troubled world.  James was a defender of life long before his fellow Illinoisan Ronald Reagan came to this same position.

I will think often of James Palmer in my remaining days. But, I have hope in Christ that I will meet both James Palmer and Ronald Reagan in the future.
# 40 Ronald Wilson Reagan
by Findalis at Monkey in the Middle

Regardless of what field of endeavor Ronald Wilson Reagan perused, he left his mark upon the profession he was associated with.  Born in Tampico, Illinois on Feb. 6, 1911 he was not a son of privileged. At a time when only the affluent were able to send their sons and daughters to University, Ronald Reagan worked his way through Eureka College receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology. He played football and received his first acting experience while in College. His first job after graduation was as a radio broadcaster first in Iowa then moving to California in 1937. In 1937 he was offered a acting contract with Warner Brothers studio.

Reagan volunteered in 1937 for the Army Enlisted Reserve on April 29, 1937, as a private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry at Des Moines, Iowa. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on May 25, 1937.

Reagan was ordered to active duty for the first time on April 18, 1942. Due to his nearsightedness, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office. Upon the approval of the Army Air Force (AAF), he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on May 15, 1942, and was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the 1st Motion Picture Unit (officially, the "18th AAF Base Unit") in Culver City, California. On January 14, 1943 he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Army at Burbank, California. He returned to the 1st Motion Picture Unit after completing this duty and was promoted to Captain on July 22, 1943.

In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. He was re-assigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit on November 14, 1944, where he remained until the end of World War II. He was recommended for promotion to Major on February 2, 1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on July 17 of that year. He returned to Fort MacArthur, California, where he was separated from active duty on December 9, 1945. By the end of the war, his units had produced some 400 training films for the AAF.

While never a great actor, he did have a good career as a 'B' actor.  His acting career took off in the 1950s when he became a star on Television.  From 1947 to 1952 and again in 1959 he  became president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).  Reagan led SAG through eventful years that were marked by labor-management disputes, the Taft-Hartley Act, House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the Hollywood blacklist era.

Originally a Democrat, Reagan became disillusioned with the Democratic Party and in 1962 formally became a Republican.  He ran for Governor of California in 1966 serving as Governor from 1967 to 1975.  In 1975 he challenged President Ford for the Republican nomination. While he lost, he did gain valuable experience from the race.  Enough experience to return in 1979 and not only win the nomination, but defeat President Carter in landslide, returning again in 1983 to trounce Walter Mondale with the greatest landslide since George Washington.

President Ronald Reagan retired to California after his second term. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1994 at a time which there were very limited treatments for the disease. Ronald Wilson Reagan died his home in Bel Air, California on the afternoon of June 5, 2004. He was 94.

Instead of posting all his quotes and achievements, I'll let the man speak for himself.

Today pundits and left-leaning commentators are saying that President Barack Hussein Obama is the new Ronald Reagan. Listen to the first video and see if President Obama's policies are more like Reagan's or like Khrushchev's?

History will place President Obama with the appeasers, but will praise Ronald Wilson Reagan as a true peace maker.

Tags: Conservative, President, Republican, Ronald Wilson Reagan, James Palmer To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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