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)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Rep. Bob Goodlatte: Job Creation & a Balanced Budget Amendment

Rep. Bob Goodlatte
In light of the fact that President Obama will be addressing congress this week, it seemed important to note that House Republicans have not abandoned their commitment to Cut, Cap, and Balance. Today in the Weekly Republican Address, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) made the case for how a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution would provide greater certainty about our nation’s fiscal trajectory over the long haul, helping private-sector small-business people plan, invest and get back to creating jobs. Goodlatte says, “That’s why in his upcoming jobs speech, President Obama should call on both parties to come together this fall and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification.”

Goodlatte is in his 10th term representing the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia. He serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, and vice chair of the House Agriculture Committee. Goodlatte has championed the Balanced Budget Amendment since his first day in Congress in 1993.

The American people strongly support a Balanced Budget Amendment, which will get a vote in both houses of Congress this fall. The question will be whether the Senate democrats block this amendment from being sent to the American people for their consideration.

The full text of the address follows the video of his presentation.

Transcript of Rep. Bob Goodlatte's address:
“Hello, I’m Congressman Bob Goodlatte from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s a pleasure to speak with you on Labor Day weekend as we honor the ingenuity and perseverance of America’s workers.

“Of course, ours are the best workers in the world, and given a level playing field, they can compete and win against anyone.

“Except we don’t have a level playing field. Our employers face some of the highest tax rates in the world. Endless red tape makes it harder to plan and invest. Our national debt – much of which is owed to China – is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy.

“The president’s ‘stimulus’ spending has proven counterproductive.  Government has gotten in the way when it can be part of the solution. With millions of Americans still asking ‘where are the jobs?,’ the president should help lead a bipartisan effort to remove government barriers to job creation.

“We can start by eliminating burdensome mandates and regulations; stopping policies that drive up gas prices; expanding American energy production in order to increase jobs and American manufacturing; and approving free trade agreements that open new markets to American-made goods. These ideas and other much-needed reforms are part of Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators. Learn more by visiting

“While our workers are being held back by Washington, there’s nothing in place to stop the federal government from bankrolling further big government spending ... the kind that leads to government expansion into private-sector jobs, burdensome mandates on job creators and skyrocketing national debt.

“For hard-working families, making tough decisions to live within your means is a necessity. For 49 out of 50 states, it’s the law. So you’re right to expect no less from Washington.

“This fall, both the House and the Senate will vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution that would force Congress to spend only what the government takes in. This would ensure spending cuts made today don’t easily disappear tomorrow. That doesn’t just mean a fiscal house in order: it also means more certainty for the private sector and a better environment for job creation.

“That’s why, in his upcoming jobs speech, President Obama should call on both parties to come together this fall and send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states for ratification.

“This amendment isn’t my idea; it’s not a new idea. Thomas Jefferson expressed strong support for it in 1798. On March 2nd, 1995, the U.S. Senate failed – by one vote – to send a Balanced Budget Amendment to the states. More than $9 trillion has been added to our national debt since. That’s a 180 percent increase. Imagine how different things would be if the amendment had passed. We cannot afford to make the same mistake.

“This won’t be easy. As you know, a constitutional amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of both houses of Congress before it goes to the states. We need bipartisan support to get the Balanced Budget Amendment across the finish line.

“So to help spread the word, we’ve set up a website where you can learn more and share information about the importance of a Balanced Budget Amendment. The address is We’ll also be talking about this on Twitter using the hashtag ‘BBA4jobs.’

“This Labor Day, America’s workers are right to ask where the jobs are. You deserve better answers. The policies coming out of Washington aren’t getting it done.

“By focusing on removing barriers to job creation – and creating barriers to debt creation – we can get our economy back on track. Together, we can restore the promise that for all of us is America.

“Thank you for listening, and enjoy your Labor Day weekend.”

Tags: US House, representative, Bob Goodlatte, Balanced Budget, balanced budget amendment, weekly address, GOP To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, September 02, 2011

New Obama Administration Logo

On reflection of the ZERO Jobs added in August and many now calling President Obama dis-affectionately President Zero, a new logo has been developed by Americans for Limited Government for the Zero's Administration. No laughing, this is serious business.

Tags: President Obama, President Zero, no jobs, zero jobs, new logo To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Has 10th Fastest Growing Gov't Sector in U.S.

Teresa Oelke, Director AFP-Arkansas: In 2011, National Cost of Government Day fell on August 12. Working people toiled 224 days out of the year — just to meet all costs imposed by government.

Arkansas has the 10th fastest growing government sector in the entire nation. Not a record a state should like.

Update: 3/11/17 -Video removed by AFP but above DOL Report on Arkansas is linked.

Tags: AFP, Arkansas, Little Rock, big government, fast growing government, 1oth fastest growing government, Teresa Oelke, Americans For Prosperity, DOL report To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Appeals Court Defends Photographing Police; Bloggers as Journalists

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Three and a half years ago, Dan Blank posted the image used for this post and an article on his blog tiled Changing Roles: Journalists Become Bloggers; Bloggers Become Journalists The struggle of the citizen press has continued and the courts have had to sort out for public officials and others that 1st Amendment rights apply to bloggers and the public in general as detailed in the following article. Often the paid news media has identified themselves as professionals and pointed to bloggers, photographers, and other new media types as "unprofessional" because they are self funded (not paid by someone else). In recent times, these professionals have tried  to wear the blogger label.  While public employees and politicians may not like it, bloggers and other new media writers are covered by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution.  I appreciate the 1st Dist US Court of Appeals acknowledging this situation. The struggle is not over because like darkness flees the light, politicians, government officials, and their employees do not like transparency, oversight by the public, or independent opinions made public on their performance and actions.

"...though not unqualified, a citizen's right to film government officials, including law enforcement officers, in the discharge of their duties in a public space is a basic, vital, and well-established liberty safeguarded by the First Amendment." First Circuit Court of Appeals. [Source See 1st District US Court of Appeals - 10-1764 Sect: II,A,2]
Dr. Mike Landry: The right to take photographs or video of police in public places was affirmed in an August 26 ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in New England. Just as importantly, the court also said individuals with cameras have the same rights as professional journalists.

The court said Simon Glik was within his First Amendment rights when he made a cell phone video of Boston police arresting a man, and arresting Glik for making the video violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

Walking by Boston Commons October 1, 2007, Glik had seen three police officers arresting a young man and heard a bystander say "You're hurting him. Stop" Concerned about police brutality, Glik then began recording the event. After subduing the young man, police ordered Glik to stop recording. When Glik objected, police arrested him.

Glik was charged with violating the state's wiretap law, disturbing the peace, and aiding in the escape of a prisoner. The City of Boston later dropped the aiding in escape charge, and the municipal court dismissed the disturbing the peace charge and also the wiretap charge because the recording was not secret. Glik then sued the city in federal district court and the case ended up at the court of appeals. There, the city argued that police should not be recorded due to their professional immunity from liability but the court cited extensive case law which said government officials in public places may be recorded.

Regarding the First Amendment rights of citizens who are not professional journalists, the court said: "The proliferation of electronic devices with video-recording capability means that many of our images of current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status." [Source See 1st District US Court of Appeals - 10-1764 Sect: II,A,1]

Tags: Boston Commons, Boston, Massachusetts, First Circuit Court of Appeals, constitutional right, First Amendment, right to take photographs of police, right to take video of police, public places, photos, cameras, cell phone recording, police, Photographing Police, bloggers, bloggers as journalists, blogger To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Candidates Should Be Talking About China

Phyllis Schlafly and Dr. Bill Smith
(ARRA News Service) at the
Smart Girl Summit 2011, St. Louis, MO
Photo by Julie McKinney (NC)
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: The media are absorbed with the race for the Republican presidential nomination, commenting on daily fluctuations in the polls, and predicting who will win. But why are they omitting discussion of the elephant in the room — China?

When Donald Trump briefly considered running for President, his straight talk about China helped him rise to the top of the Republican field. So, why aren't the media interrogators asking other candidates any China questions?

Communist China is a tremendous national security issue. The only cut Barack Obama is willing to make in federal spending is in our military power, which means he will be ceding our military superiority to China and other hostile totalitarian nations.

While Obama is shutting down our U.S. space program, China is going full-speed ahead to achieve space dominance along with the ability to deny it to America. Space is essential to the gathering, transmission and use of information necessary to fight and win future wars.

This year China unveiled a new, high-tech stealth fighter plane that could pose a significant threat to our air superiority. A Chinese military milestone was passed when China's first aircraft carrier completed its maiden voyage. China is deploying a new anti-ship ballistic missile that can sink U.S. aircraft carriers. China is developing electromagnetic pulse weapons to use against our aircraft carriers in any conflict over Taiwan.

Communist China is a huge jobs issue, and jobs is the number-one presidential campaign issue. China is a killer of U.S. jobs, not only from U.S. outsourcing but by taking thousands of construction jobs away from U.S. workers. Despite California's 10 percent unemployment, China will soon finish rebuilding the great San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge damaged in the 1989 earthquake. A Chinese company built the construction machinery and the 12 bridge segments in China and is installing them in California, using 3,000 imported Chinese workers (steel-cutters, welders, engineers, etc.), paid $12 a day, working 7 a.m. till 11 p.m., seven days a week, and sleeping in a company dorm.

China has already built seven U.S. schools, and has bought a large chunk of real estate in Toledo, Ohio and oil and gas fields in Texas. China has contracts to build a 4,000-room casino in Atlantic City, and to refurbish the Alexander Hamilton bridge over the Harlem River. In Idaho, China is using a federal program that grants permanent residency to foreign nationals and special tax exemptions to foreign firms that move to the U.S. But surprise, surprise, the Chinese industries in Idaho will be staffed by imported Chinese workers.

Targets of Chinese investment in New York include the New York subway system, a Metro-North train platform near Yankee stadium, luxury apartments, and major leases in the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center.

After General Electric's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt, closed all G.E.'s U.S. Edison light bulb plants and opened a light bulb plant in China, Barack Obama named Immelt his Jobs Czar. Immelt then announced G.E. will move its 115-year-old X-ray division from Wisconsin to Beijing, where G.E. will invest $2 billion, train 65 engineers, and create six research centers.  G.E. is now pursuing a joint venture with China to build the avionics for a new commercial plane that will compete with Boeing and Airbus. Of course, China will use this technology for military purposes, too.

China is now asking Missouri taxpayers to build a cargo hub at Lambert-St.Louis Airport, called Aerotropolis, for the use of Shanghai-based China Cargo Airlines. China expects Missouri to give the Chinese $360 million in tax credits to subsidize this cargo hub, with millions of square feet of warehouse and factory space.

The new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial should be stamped "Made in China." It was sculpted in China by a Chinese sculptor out of Chinese granite and assembled in the U.S. by imported Chinese workers.

Communist China is a big medical issue. More than 80 percent of the active ingredients for prescription drugs sold in the United States are made in other countries, mostly in China or India, where the manufacturers and facilities are rarely or never inspected.  Several years ago, the Chinese deliberately substituted a cheap fake ingredient in the blood-thinner Heparin. That caused 81 U.S. deaths before it was pulled from use.

Now we learn that 180 drugs needed to treat leukemia, cancer and other diseases are in dangerously short supply because of contamination in facilities in China and India. While a deal is now being negotiated to start U.S. inspection of Chinese drug plants, there is no reason to believe that occasional inspections will make the drugs safe.
Again, why are they omitting discussion of the elephant in the room — China?

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, China, national security, manufacturing, exports, jobs, America, candidates, presidential debate, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama: The Zero Jobs President

"Real leadership doesn’t inherit a bad economy.
It fixes it." ~ Newt Gingrich
Bill Smith, Editor: President Obama and his new jobs-economics czar maybe working on the upcoming speech on jobs, but today's job numbers show that  the economy continues to suck as a result of the Obama administration's actions which have "terrorized" private sector job growth.  With the August jobs report in,  we can now call Obama "the Zero Jobs President ."  He has taken the most robust economy in the world and brought employment to a standstill.

Reporting on today’s disappointing jobs numbers, Reuters writes, “U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in August as sagging confidence discouraged already skittish businesses from hiring, keeping pressure on the Federal Reserve to provide more stimulus to aid the economy. Nonfarm payrolls were unchanged, the Labor Department said on Friday, the weakest reading since September. Economists had expected a gain of 75,000 jobs. The report underscored the frail economy and kept fears of a recession on investors' radar. . . . Adding to the weak tenor of the report, nonfarm employment for June and July was revised to show 58,000 fewer jobs.”

And The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, “The Obama administration now says U.S. unemployment could persist at its current stubbornly high level around 9% well into 2012.” The WSJ noted, “Mr. Obama is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress next Thursday to outline his latest economic proposals. . . . White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested the measures could push the unemployment rate below 9%, but he also sought to avoid making predictions.”

Of course, that brings to mind the failed prediction that President Obama’s economic advisors made about their nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill. They said that unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8% if Congress passed their “recovery plan.” In February 2009 Obama claimed, “It's a plan that will save or create up to 4 million jobs over the next two years.” And Vice President Biden said the stimulus would create 3.5 million jobs in 18 months and “literally drop-kicks us out of this recession.”

In response to both the chutzpah of both POTUS Obama and Vice POSTUS Biden, the outcry of the general public is clearly, "like hell it did." Bold faced lies require bold faced responses. There are indeed to many to print. Below are a few of today's responses from outside of the Federal Government:

Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson responds, "Obama's economy continues to fail to produce the private sector jobs to even meet the needs of new entrants in the economy, let alone those who are currently unemployed. What is stunning is that the economy created zero jobs in August. It is almost criminal that Obama continues to offer the same failed stimulus solutions that focus upon his radical agenda to change our economy from the most productive in the world to one where hope is replaced by despair and innovation is punished."

Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry responded on the August job numbers, “President Obama’s job-killing polices continue to wreak havoc on the American economy. The poor national jobs picture stands in stark contrast to Texas’ pro-jobs, limited government policies which helped make us the top job-producing state in the nation. Our country cannot afford four more years of economic misery, and I will continue to travel the county talking about ways to get American working again.”

Former Massachucett's Governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney responded, “Today’s disappointing unemployment report is further proof that President Obama has failed. President Obama oversaw an economy that created zero jobs last month and that is unacceptable. In order to change the direction of this country, we need to change presidents.”

Former New Mexico governor and presidential candidate Gary Johnson responded to today's report of no new jobs in August, "With today's jobs report, the worst in a year, one has to wonder what it will take to make the President and Congress admit that they are doing all the wrong things. Government does not create jobs, it kills jobs. Yet, the White House says the answer is to pass a highway bill so they can 'stimulate' construction jobs. Washington has stimulated us to death, and it has to stop. Provide certainty for employers, stop the insane spending, and reform the tax code.  Do those things, and the private sector will do the job creation.  We have let the myth of government jobs programs go too far, and America is suffering as a result.  We don't need more prime time speeches -- we need government to just get out of the way."

Former George Representative, US House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich provided the image used today quote belwo it. He also said, "On Thursday, we will get to hear the president’s plan to get us out of the mess he helped create. We will find out whether he has learned from history and given up his commitment to class warfare and bureaucratic socialism in favor of liberating American entrepreneurs to do what they do best – create jobs. Either way, I want you to know that I will continue offering leadership now, advocating for the right policies now for job creation now."

It is very clear from today's dismal August employment report that those bold faced presidential and vice presidential predictions were not only exaggerated and didn't come true, they were in fact baseless. The president's agenda is counter-productive to creating jobs and expanding the American economy. The Obama administration is already pushing job killing regulations. On Sept 8th, President Zero will try for a "do over." Getting a "do over" may have worked for Obama when he played sandlot games in Indonesia, or in his unrecorded college classes or even in Chicago politics, but after over two years of his policies and administration wrecking the American economy, most Americans are not interested in giving President Zero another "do over" as he again attempts to harangue Congress with his socialist based agenda.

As for me, I do not wish to be frustrated with another Teleprompter Performance. If I learn that the President admitted that he has been wrong in his policies and is sorry for his failures, I will watch his comments on  the Fox News' replays or on YouTube. Instead, I will join millions of "red blodded" Americans in preparing food and snacks for Thursday night's 8:30 PM (ET) NFL season kickoff: the Green Bay Packers verse the New Orleans Saints. 

Tags: Jobs report, Zero, Barack Obama, President Zero, news reports, responses, NFl foodball To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

“DOJ Attack Gibson” or "Killing More American Jobs"

A.F. Branco:
DOJ's "Fast and Sleazy" Operations continue. Gibson Guitar was founded in 1890. Will America now let Eric Holder kill Gibson and more American jobs? Related Posts:
Save Gibson – Vote Out a Democrat
Government Assault on Gibson Guitars Goes Viral
Justice Dept: Gibson Should Just Move to Madagascar

Tags: Gibson, Department of Justice, DOJ, Eric Holder, political cartoon, A.F. Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

End Bloomberg's 9/11 Ban on Prayer, Pastors & First Responders

Family Research Council (FRC): At a Ground Zero commemoration in New York City on 9/11 for the families of victims, Mayor Bloomberg is allowing politicians and presidents. But, he plans to exclude pastors and prayer from the Ground Zero commemoration This is not only offensive to the families of victims, but it strangely overlooks the role that faith played in bringing healing to countless lives. Even New York City's police and firefighters -- the very first responders on the scene that day -- are barred from what is quickly becoming a political event.

The presence of politicians and presidents, will not make up for the absence of prayer and pastors.

Please visit and sign the Family Research Center Petition at and sign the petition to Mayor Bloomberg asking that he give prayer, pastors, and first responders a place at this most solemn remembrance of such a pivotal moment in our nation's history.

Tags: 9/11. 9-11, ceremony, Mayor Bloomberg, NYC, New York City, petition, ban on prayer, ban on pastors, ban on first responders, FRC, Family Research Center, prayer, pastors, first responders To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Admin's Regulations Suck And Cost the Economy Billions

Image caught my attention 4 months ago:
The Real State of the Economy and It Sucks
Polls Confirm Economy Sucks Even More!
Americans Not Impressed With Obama's Economic Record.
CNN Poll: "65% Give Obama Thumbs Down On Economy"

On Tuesday, the AP reported, “President Barack Obama says his administration is considering seven new government regulations that would cost the economy more than $1 billion each a year, a tally Republicans will pounce on to argue that Congress needs the power to approve costly government rules. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Obama lists four proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules and three Transportation Department rules estimated to cost in excess of $1 billion. One of the proposed EPA rules - an update to the health-based standard for smog - is estimated to cost the economy between $19 billion and $90 billion. . . . Obama's letter was in response to a Boehner request last week for more details from the president on the proposed costs of the most expensive regulations under consideration by his administration. Obama's administration has identified 219 proposed regulations this year with a cost to the economy of more than $100 million each.”

In an op-ed last week, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) explained these expensive regulations are making it ever harder to create the jobs this country needs for economic growth. “Last year, President Obama promised Americans a recovery summer. This year, he’s given us a regulatory summer. He’s thrown a giant wet blanket on economic recovery and has given Americans a summer of more burdens, more costs and more rules. . . . The president said on his recent bus tour that ‘there is some red tape that needs to be cut, and we should cut it.’ Yet in just one week in August, two new rules were finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - rules that increased the regulatory burden on job creators by $10 billion. . . . New regulations and uncertainty continue to take a toll on our economy. America’s job creators should not have to suffer through another summer of Washington’s job-destroying regulations.”

Clearly Americans are not impressed with the Obama administration’s economic record. CNN reports today, “Only a third of all Americans approve of how President Barack Obama is handling the economy, according to a new national survey. And with a CNN/ORC International Poll also indicating that more than three-quarters of the public say the country is in bad shape right now, there's little wonder why the president is getting such low marks.”

Tags: Barack Obama, economic record, regulations, cost of regulations, economy sucks, economy, sucks, CNN, poll, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Time to Suck It Up

Toon by "Bones"
Yaakov Kirschen
Bill Smith, ARRA News Editor: The following opinion editorial by John Allison takes a strong swat at the Baby Boomer generation and the present day failing economic situation. The author does not distinguish between the beginning, middle and ending members of the baby boomer generation whose parents were very prolific over 17 yrs. World War II had a major impact in many ways on America including fertility.

Most of the members born at the beginning of the generation were in fact very much like their parents - hard working and conservative and not looking to the government for anything and often did without many of the things that later baby boomer had immediate access to or experienced.

Also, by the time the baby boomer generation moved into the workforce, the biggest government ponzi schemes in America - Social Security - became mandatory on them and not optional as first designed. Heck, there were lots of them and they could therefore pay-in lots of money. Also, the males in the first third of the baby boomers were the last generation to be drafted into the military and many were sent to War in Vietnam and never returned -- 58,000 Americans were killed and another 350,000 with combat casualties. Americans became discouraged with the Federal government. The prior statistics do not count the untold numbers of suicides by Vietnam Veterans after they returned home to an unwelcoming and unkind America. It does not identify the subsequent deaths from Agent Orange or other factors and the numbers affected by PTSD or otherwise permanently discouraged victims of the war.

Also their were the social aspects back home where people sought to avoid the War by going to college even when not interested in college. Some colleges and universities conspired to keep men from by being drafted through grade inflation. Bill Clinton (D) and others went to Canada to avoid the draft and were pardoned by Jimmy Carter (D) making Clinton eligible to become president. College campuses became a hot bed for a reactionary fever during the Vietnam War was hedonism flourished as mentioned by the authors other descriptions applicable to the "make love not war" or "free love" movement.

And the legacy of hedonism continued into Post Boomer / Generation X, Millennial Generation, and the New Silent Generation. However, members of all these various generations have been rudely awakening to the effects and consequences of Big Government which has and is continuing to assault liberty, freedoms, American prosperity and even individual responsibility. The question being debated is the corrective actions needed.

Feelings are running deep in America as evidenced by the author's article. However, not addressed by the author, is the following about the military and even other employers. Those whom stayed in the military obviously had their pay and retirement determined by the Federal Government. They were promised if they lived to retirement they would receive certain pay and benefits - one of which was Social Security. What is not realized by the general public is that the Government opted to keep military pay low and forced military to pay into social security and then thereby keep military retirement lower because the military member would also draw social security in the future. The Government used actuarial tables and determined that a majority of military retirees would in fact die and that they could avoid the retirement social security payout to the military retirees. Also, unlike most other retirement plans, when a military member dies, his retirement ceases and is not available to the spouse. To strip present military retirees of their social security pay would not be right.

Also, further research may evidence that even private employers having been forced to pay into this government Ponzi scheme (recall the lock box theory), adjusted retirement plans or provided no retirement plans to career employees because these employees would be receiving social security. While the Ponzi scheme payout must come to an end, I do not agree with the author's pre-baby boomer time line.

Some perspective about the author, John Allison. Although not a Baby Boomer, he is not some post modern radical. He respects and respected his parents and grandparents generation, especially his father's and grandfathers' service to our country. He is a father, a teacher, a Marine who has served his country, a Christian, and a conservative.

by John Allison, Opinion Editorial: Unless they're from the generation that won WWII or earlier, I am sick and tired of hearing people say, "Don't cut my Social Security or Medicare. I paid into that." Though most of us did pay into it, the simple fact is there is not going to be enough money to pay all the promised benefits without squeezing every drop of blood from future generations of Americans. We're mortgaged to the hilt and, almost in unison from the American people, all we hear is, "Don't cut my stuff. Cut the other guy's!" It's time to wake up and understand that we don't have a choice, we've bled this country dry and it's now time to pay the piper.

I realize that there are exceptions to the generalizations I'm about to make, but by and large, this is the way it is.

Our country is in the shape it is because of the Baby Boomers and subsequent generations, including my own. The Baby Boomers made up the generation that started our country down the precipitous decline that has left us where we are today, well on our way to the bottom of the abyss. It was the dope-smoking hippy Baby Boomers who decided morals and decency were no longer fashionable, personal responsibility for one's actions was an archaic concept, and the only allegiance they owed was to themselves.

While the Baby Boom generation got wasted and bred everything that would lie still for a few minutes, the fabric that so many previous generations had woven to make our country great began to fray. Rather than continue the tradition and make that fabric stronger, their live-for-the-moment mentality left little room for consideration of the future of the country. Unable to see the danger to the American way of life posed by the spread of Communism, their protests and marches undermined the efforts of valiant men and women who tried to preserve our traditions and freedom. But their disdain for all things American didn't restrict itself to the Vietnam war. It extended into the very heart of what carried the US from a ragtag collection of British colonies to the most powerful country in the world in less than 200 years.

The Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, traveled the US in the 19th century and remarked, "America is great because America is good." That goodness wasn't a result of government regulations and entitlements, but the goodness of the individual Americans who gave of themselves to help those in need. The Baby Boom generation stood by, watched, and even encouraged as Lyndon Johnson initiated the transformation that replaced the goodness of so many Americans into the rampant culture of crime and evil so prevalent today.

The bong-hitting, sandal and bead wearing, free loving Baby Boomers decided that living in the moment and having fun just took up too much time and didn't leave any spare minutes for doing good deeds and taking care of one's neighbor and the like. So they decided that should be the domain of government. It became the government's responsibility to feed the homeless and orphans, clean the streets and highways, care for the elderly, and so on. Authority to provide what had always been the duty of ordinary citizens and churches was handed over to a government so the Baby Boomers could worry themselves with important things like getting another fix or bedding down with another partner. Personal responsibility for making the world a better place became a thing of the past.

When the Baby Boomers began to get a little long in the tooth, their wanton selfishness didn't subside. Those who had married placed little or no value in the oath they had sworn to stick together for better or worse, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health. They divorced their spouses for little, or even no, reason at all. Men left their wives and children feeling no compulsion whatsoever to provide for the families they abandoned. Those who had bred without having married felt free to leave their mates and offspring as well. A generation of kids raised by single mothers came of age with few responsible male role models.

In the wake of this divorce epidemic surged all sorts of social programs to assist abandoned mothers and their children. The plague now known as welfare was born because of the irresponsible actions of the Baby Boom generation. This canker became malignant, trapping those it infected into a vicious cycle that destroyed any semblance of work ethic they might have otherwise developed. By absolving themselves of their responsibility to care for their families and neighbors in need, by shifting that responsibility to the government, Baby Boomers initiated the erosion of initiative to work hard and make something of oneself in America. All of these travesties are symptoms of the selfishness that defined the Baby Boom generation, replacing one of selflessness that existed prior and resulted in the ascendancy of the United States to super power status in such a short time. Rather than take the time to help a neighbor, they passed by those in need. After all, that was the government's responsibility and they didn't have time to help them anyway.

And the Baby Boomers raised my generation. My generation grew up with some government agency or another regulating virtually every aspect of our lives. Too many don't realize it's not supposed to be that way. The dope-smoking hippies that raised them instilled their anti-capitalist agenda deep in their hearts through parenting, entertainment and education.

My generation was raised BELIEVING the government is responsible for taking care of everything, and personal responsibility was a term practically removed from the English language. Now as our children come of age, we have spent our country into oblivion. $14 TRILLION in debt and growing at a rapid pace, predicted to reach $24 TRILLION before our kids turn 30!

How do we expect them to repay it?!?!?!??!?!? Are we really willing to place that impossible burden on their shoulders so that we can enjoy cable TV, smartphones, high speed internet, multiple cars, boats, motorcycles and 3000 sq ft homes?

I'm not. The Baby Boomers and my generation have marched us to the edge of this cliff and now they're telling us the only way to survive it keep marching past the edge...into thin air...and telling us we can keep going the way we are and everything will be okay.

It won't be okay, and it's not okay!

Now is the time to accept responsibility for the mess we've created, tighten our belts, and suffer the consequences of our actions. I'm not for cutting SS and Medicare benefits of the WWII generation. They didn't create this mess. But for everyone born after 1945, it's time to make cuts and hold our generations accountable for their decades of irresponsibility.

As for me, I've resigned myself to the fact that I'm never going to retire. I'll go to my grave working. But if that's the price I have to pay so that I am not responsible for passing off an unbearable burden to my children, then so be it. If you're in the Baby Boom generation or mine, and you don't feel that way, your willingness to enslave your descendants to a debt that we created is unconscionable.

It's time we who created this mess suck it up and bear the consequences of the mess we have created. Cut Social Security, Medicare, and every other government program for those of us in the Baby Boom and subsequent generations and let's get our country back on track!

Tags: baby boomers, social security, ponzi scheme. federal government, opinion editorial, John Allison To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Buffett’s Billion-Dollar Tax Hypocrisy

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett
By Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government: Writing for the New York Times recently, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and chief executive Warren Buffett called for taxes to be increased on the so-called “super-rich,” suggesting that he and his elite billionaire and millionaire friends are itching to pay more.

Buffett wrote, “Most wouldn’t mind being told to pay more in taxes as well, particularly when so many of their fellow citizens are truly suffering.”

Of course, if that’s the case, why doesn’t Buffett’s company settle its own ongoing tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? As Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has reported exclusively — a story given national attention by a New York Post editorial — according to Berkshire Hathaway’s own annual report, the company has been embroiled in an ongoing standoff over its tax bills.

Using only publicly-available documents, a certified public accountant (CPA) detailed Berkshire Hathaway’s tax problems to ALG researcher Richard McCarty. Now, the American people have a better idea of how much in back taxes the company could owe Uncle Sam.

According to page 56 of the company report, “At December 31, 2010… net unrecognized tax benefits were $1,005 million”, or about $1 billion. McCarty explained, “Unrecognized tax benefits represent the company’s potential future obligation to the IRS and other taxing authorities.  They have to be recorded in the company’s financial statements.”

He added, “The notation means that Berkshire Hathaway’s own auditors have probably said that $1 billion is more likely than not owed to the government.”

$1 billion is not an insignificant chunk of change, even for Buffett, representing about 0.2 percent of the company’s $372 billion in total assets.

So, on one hand Buffett advocates for paying more taxes, but when it comes to his own company’s taxes, he has gone through great lengths to pay less.  That’s rich.

As the report chronicles, “We anticipate that we will resolve all adjustments proposed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) for the 2002 through 2004 tax years at the IRS Appeals Division within the next 12 months. The IRS has completed its examination of our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2005 and 2006 tax years and the proposed adjustments are currently being reviewed by the IRS Appeals Division process. The IRS is currently auditing our consolidated U.S. federal income tax returns for the 2007 through 2009 tax years.”

McCarty pointed to a prior tax fight the company fought.  “Apparently, this is not the first time that Berkshire Hathaway has tangled with the IRS. They fought a 14-year battle over the dividends received deduction. That case was just resolved in 2005,” McCarty said.

Although the prior case was settled in Buffett’s favor, it demonstrates a decades-long pattern of behavior by Buffett to minimize his taxes.  That’s the important part of the story.

In politics, you don’t get to divorce your actions from your words, and if Buffett does not understand that, he ought not to step into the political arena. It led radio host Mark Levin, commenting on Buffett’s seeming tax avoidance hypocrisy, to ask, “Is Warren Buffett stupid?”
Leaving Buffett’s poor political instincts aside, since he says he wants to pay more, why not just pay it? The answer is likely that Buffett’s actions show that he does not actually want to pay more, he wants you to pay more.

Tags: Berkshire Hathaway, Internal Revenue Service, IRS, Warren Buffett, Warren Buffett Behind on Taxes, Warren Buffett's Taxes, Bill Wilson, Americans For Limited government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Survivor, Arkansas Style

Due to the popularity of the various "Survivor" shows, Arkansas is planning the "Survivor, Arkansas Style!"

Eight non-resident contestants will start in Little Rock.  They will drive to Mountain Home, Eureka Springs, Texarkana, back to Russellville and down to Magnolia. They will then proceed up to Fordyce, Hot Springs, Mena, Waldron, Fort Smith, and to Marshall. From there they will go on to Batesville, then to Jonesboro and finally back to Little Rock.

Each contestant will drive a Pink Volvo with large stickers on their cars that read: "I'm a Liberal," "Amnesty for Illegals" "I love the Dixie Chicks," "Military Are Murders," "Boycott Beef", "Buy Rice From China," "Voted for Obama", "George Strait Sucks," "Razorbacks Suck More," "Hillary in 2012," "Don't Fund The Sheriffs' Association." and   ............. "I'm here to Confiscate Your Guns."

The first live contestant to complete the designated route  in their Pink Volvo wins!.
Disclaimer: Contestants will be responsible for all expenses during the race,  including bail bonds, fines,  drug tests, injury to others, medical expenses, fuel, wrecker services and car repairs.  Removal or  the covering of stickers placed on the cars will disqualify the contestant.
H/T Mickey D. Pendergrass - slightly embellished.

Tags: Arkansas, Arkansas Survivor, liberals, Pink Volvos, satire, humor To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

A.F.Branco “Government Help”

by A.F. Branco:

Tags: A.F. Branco, politically incorrect, cartoon, big government, Government Gone Wild, jobs, Obama jobs plan, Obama Spending, highway jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Wall Street Journal writes today, “The National Labor Relations Board sided with unions in several cases involving rules for organizing and representing workers, further riling business groups as the board continues to push through decisions by year's end. The board's three Democrats outvoted the group's sole Republican member in all three of the cases.”

According to the WSJ, “In [one] case . . . the board decided that the union could seek to organize a group that consists only of nursing assistants [micro unions] at a long-term care facility. That was a blow to the employer, which wanted to include other nonprofessional employees in the unit. . . . A second case . . . involved ‘card check’ elections in which employees sign cards to show their interest in joining a union. In its decision, the board said employees opposed to a union would no longer have the right to immediately challenge an employer's recognition of a card-check vote. Unions prefer the card-check method to secret-ballot elections. In the third case . . . the board bolstered the rights of incumbent unions when a company is sold. It said neither the new owner, nor employees nor rival unions can stage an immediate challenge to the union. Instead, they must give a ‘reasonable period’ and ‘fair chance’ for the union to prove its merits in collective bargaining.”

The Journal notes, “Each of the decisions overturned rulings made in previous years when the board was controlled by Republican appointees, underscoring how the board's interpretation of labor law tends to flip depending on which party is controlling the White House. Business groups, management lawyers and Republican lawmakers have accused President Barack Obama's board appointees of going further than what is typical for Democrats. They say the Obama board is overreaching to bolster unions and union-organizing at a time when union membership has dropped to just 6.9% of the private-sector work force.”

In an editorial, The Journal points out another controversial NLRB decision from last week, writing, “When not telling U.S. companies where they are allowed to locate their operations, the National Labor Relations Board will now require them to display pro-organizing propaganda. The new rule issued last Thursday requires management to post notices about employee rights to unionize, collectively bargain and strike under the National Labor Relations Act. . . . But the rule is especially notable because the NLRB has no statutory authority to promulgate it. The board only has powers when they are invoked by a union petition or an unfair labor practice allegation. The NLRB decided to act purely on its own discretion, thus imposing on some six million employers, the vast majority of which are not under suspicion for any labor violations. . . . The larger danger is that the NLRB will now view failing to post such signs as an unfair labor practice and perhaps ‘evidence of antiunion animus’ in the labor cases that it does adjudicate. In other words, the poster rule is another potential pretext for punishing businesses; the campaign against Boeing for siting a new plant in right-to-work South Carolina isn't based on much more evidence.”

Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander described the NLRB’s action involving Boeing in June, saying, “[T]he National Labor Relations Board moved to stop America's largest exporter, the Boeing Company, from building airplanes at a non-union plant in South Carolina, suggesting that a unionized American company can’t expand its operations into one of the 22 states with right-to-work laws, which protect a worker's right to join or not to join a union. . . . So now the NLRB and unions want to make it illegal for a company that has experienced repeated strikes to move production to a state with a right-to-work law.”

As the WSJ editors put it, “It does reveal—again—that the NLRB has become in the Obama era ultra-politicized and an advocate for unions, and it also helps to explain private job creation, or lack thereof.”

Bryon Preston, Pajamas Media also addressed the above this morning and correctly summarized the situation, "These decisions constitute end-runs around Congress and direct assaults on workers’ and employers’ rights. Via micro-unions, Big Labor can now unionize workplaces in piecemeal fashion, squeezing out non-union workers while forcing businesses to deal with multiple and multiplying unions — all of which will probably eventually end up affiliated with the hyper aggressive AFL-CIO. As sops to Big Labor, they’re perfectly within Obama’s wheelhouse and among the very few promises he has made that don’t appear to have expiration dates. ... Damage done, it’s past time for Congress to move to defund the NLRB entirely. Surely there are enough right-to-work state Democrats who can be turned. Along with the EPA, the NLRB represents a grave threat to the economy within the federal bureaucracy. As threats to individual liberties, both the EPA and NLRB are two heads of the ever growing big government hydra that the president is using to fulfill his promise/threat to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America."

Tags: NLRB, unions, micro-unions, card check, obama administration AFL-CIO, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Discussing Subsidized Homeowner Flood Insurance - Often a Subsidy for the Rich

Reason TV Editor in Chief Matt Welch appeared on Fox News Freedom Watch to discuss the how the government actually subsidized many risky homes primarily for the rich by giving cheaper flood insurance for beach, lake, and river homes and businesses. Aired on August 30, 2011. The video was provided by Reason TV via YouTube.

Note that if the Federal Government was not offering Federal subsidized flood insurance then the rich (and all others) would not be buying or building businesses and homes on flood prone beaches and rivers unless they were willing to incur and pay for the "real cost" of the insurance through private insurance companies or act irresponsibly and place everything at risk buying no insurance. Why should the taxpayers as a whole be subsidizing the choices and decisions of other people? Do we need "welfare for the rich" to offset the "welfare for the poor"? Do we need a total nanny state controlling access to ones property and resources? A government big enough to take and to use people's money to subsidize via insurance another group of people's home and business location decisions, is big enough to tell you what you can and cannot do with your property.

Tags: government flood insurance, beaches, rivers, lakes, video, personal responsibility, Matt Welch, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Obama Sets A New Record

President Obama is a record setter?  Under his watch, the national debt has increased $4 trillion -- the fastest debt increase under any President.

Obama, supported by Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, has shown time and again that he is unwilling to admit failure. Instead, Democrats continue arguing for even more stimulus spending despite deepening deficits with the first failed Stimulus.

Doubling down on failed policies, President Obama has now selected Alan Krueger as his chief economist – yet another academic ideologue with no job-creating experience to be the top cheerleader for his job-destroying tax, borrow and spend agenda.
See also: Liberals Laud Alan Krueger’s Fatally Flawed Minimum Wage Study

Tags: Obama, new record, deficit, economic record, appointment, chief economist, Alan Krueger To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas AG McDaniel Stands with Union Bosses Instead of Workers

AG Dustin McDaniels
Stands Behind AFL-CIO
Katherine Vasilos, Republican Party of Arkansas: After refusing to join a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, Democrat Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is again ignoring the people of Arkansas by declining to join a legal effort to oppose the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) lawsuit to prevent Boeing from building a plant in right-to-work state South Carolina.

“Democrat Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has chosen to side with the likes of the AFL-CIO instead of with Arkansas workers,” said Republican Party of Arkansas Communications Director Katherine Vasilos. “If our own Attorney General does not fight this blatant assault on private industry, then what will he do if the NLRB comes down on an industry looking to locate in Arkansas because of our right-to-work law?”

“As a right-to-work state facing the highest unemployment rate in 24 years, our leaders must be proactive in promoting private investment and economic development efforts in Arkansas,” Vasilos added. “Having an Attorney General not willing to fight the NLRB’s overreach certainly sends the message that Arkansas is not friendly to business.”

President of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Randy Zook called on Arkansas’ officials to join him in “vigorously opposing this misguided effort," citing that the Boeing challenge “represents a clear-cut threat to our business recruitment efforts.”

“Why is Democrat Dustin McDaniel ignoring the call to confront the NLRB for punishing right-to-work states and hindering job creation?” asked Vasilos “Today, the state GOP calls on McDaniel to join the 16-state amicus brief and fight for the people of Arkansas and the nation.”

AG McDaniel Stands With Union Bosses
“Arkansas' Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is not willing at this time to support the legal effort of 15 Republican Attorneys General to oppose a National Labor Relations Board action against aircraft maker Boeing related to the company’s decision to locate a manufacturing operation in South Carolina.” (Roby Brock, “McDANIEL WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT ON NLRB'S BOEING DECISION,” Talk Business , 8/30/11)

AG Ignores Republican Request to Join Legal Action Against NLRB
“On July 20, State Rep. Andrea Lea, R-Russellville, sent a letter to McDaniel asking him to consider joining the legal effort to block the NLRB.” (Roby Brock, “McDANIEL WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT ON NLRB'S BOEING DECISION,” Talk Business, 8/30/11)

Business Leaders Call on Officials to Oppose Boeing Challenge
“Randy Zook, president of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas, issued this statement: ‘The Boeing-NLRB dispute is a matter of deep concern to business leaders all across the country. In Arkansas, our worry is that it represents a clear-cut threat to our business recruitment efforts...Hopefully, public officials will see the wisdom of vigorously opposing this misguided effort.’” (Roby Brock, “McDANIEL WITHHOLDING JUDGMENT ON NLRB'S BOEING DECISION,” Talk Business, 8/30/11)

AFL-CIO Wants NLRB To Expand Threat To All Businesses
“AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka defended the National Labor Relation’s Board’s controversial complaint vs. Boeing (BA) , saying the principles in that case ought to apply across the board to businesses.” (Sean Higgins, “AFL-CIO’s Trumka: NLRB Should Apply Boeing Case To All Businesses,” Investor’s Business Daily, 5/30/11)

16-State Amicus Brief Opposes NLRB Decision
“The brief, authored by and South Carolina and Texas, was joined by the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.” (Alan Wilson, “South Carolina and Texas Lead 16 State Action in Latest Challenge to NLRB Complaint,” South Carolina Attorney General, 6/11)

Tags: Arkansas, Attorney General, AG, Dustin McDaniel, democrats, unions, AFL-CIO, NLRB, workers, Court challenge, RPA, Republican party of Arkansas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Reid Wants More Green Jobs Projects, But Nevada Say: "Where Are Those Jobs?"

The AP writes today, “A clean energy revolution is under way in the United States but isn’t happening quickly enough, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. . . . Reid said he expects clean energy projects to be part of jobs bills the Senate will consider when it returns to session next week.”

But a report in National Journal today suggests that all the spending and promises about green jobs haven’t amounted to much, especially in Sen. Reid’s home state of Nevada. National Journal writes, “Reid’s passionate personal commitment to the promise of renewable energy . . . is visibly evident throughout his home state. In the scorched desert 20 miles outside of Searchlight is a vast million-panel solar electricity array, similar to more than 60 other major solar, geothermal, and wind projects that Reid has worked tirelessly to bring to the state. . . . In his politically divided home state, Reid has worked to sell a Nevadan clean-energy economic sector to farmers, ranchers, miners, and the millions of Nevadans who’ve lost their homes and jobs, making Nevada’s 12.9 percent unemployment rate the highest in the country. The hope is that clean-energy jobs can help diversify a state economy that for decades ran on gambling, mining and prostitution--and replace thousands of construction jobs lost in Las Vegas as tourism plummeted and new casino construction slowed.”

“So what do Nevadans think?” National Journal asks. “Interviews with about two dozen voters in Searchlight, Las Vegas, and the key swing city of Henderson yielded remarkably similar responses: The clean-energy boom may have brought a sliver of new jobs, but nowhere near what’s needed to restore Nevada’s staggering economy. ‘Name one person in this town who has a job in the solar industry,’ said Tim Williams, a bartender at the Searchlight Nugget, where Reid is a regular when he’s in town. A dozen patrons shook their heads. ‘I don’t think clean energy is a bad thing, but it’s not bringing us any jobs,’ said Williams . . . . Kirstin Peart, a tileworker who lost her job in Las Vegas about 18 months ago and came out to Searchlight to find work in the mines, said she doesn’t know anybody who has found employment in the renewable energy industry. “The solar places don’t hire anybody from Nevada,” she said. “It’s all people from California, Arizona--there’s very few from Nevada. But there’s so many people in Nevada [who] need the jobs. The unemployment rate is horrible right now. People are hurting bad.”

According to National Journal, “Complaints that the renewable energy industry creates relatively few jobs is probably accurate, say energy and economic experts. . . . Energy experts say while the administration should press policies to scale up innovative new sources of energy to wean the nation off oil, they may not become the massive job generators Obama claims—and certainly not in the next couple of years. . . . ‘This claim was false from the beginning. The claim that you were going to get lots of cost-effective, viable jobs with the green energy revolution was always highly suspicious,’ said David Victor, an expert on energy policy and co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego. ‘For now, the industry’s dependent on subsidies, and if the subsidies go, the jobs go.’”

Tags: Harry Reid, green jobs, jobs, Nevada, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Loss of Our Essential Freedom of Speech

Silencing Free Speech
By Patrick Booth, Contributing Author: With the right to free speech, we can claim all our other rights. Without it, how might we stop Government from taking all others. Free speech does not require we agree with others but allow them their public opinions. The Lefts' assaults requiring Political Correctness defined by Liberal Politicians indebted to specific groups financing their re-elections wish statutory restrictions on speech concerning Homosexuality, Islam, Terrorism, Welfare, Multiculturalism, Races and more by anyone whose voiced or written thoughts on morals or ethics might cause any discomfort. The state should not be comfortable, nor allowed, regulating public discourse.

You can be sure I despise Barack Obama as I do any other socialist and consider his every gaseous emanation offensive but I believe he needs to be allowed to speak. Naturally, I think those who support him ignorant in need of education but not gagging. The Left disagrees. Marxism, Communism, and Socialism cannot exist alongside free speech thus always seek restrictions.

Today's Democrats decry Tea Party, Christian, Conservative, and Republican public disagreements as "hate speech" driven by ignorance and evil intent that must be curbed for the betterment of the "State" (or public). Too many public officials, prosecutors, and media seem to think there is but one side to any debate, the liberal, and are ever more comfortable openly arguing just that. Christianity, other moral setting religions, and political Conservatives are often portrayed as restrictive, evil, wrong, and not to be tolerated by those who would extensively restrict speech for the first time in nearly 400 years. To negate free speech is to negate equality under law. When individuals control what may be said publicly, rights accrue only to certain interest groups favored by those individuals, Liberty ceases.

Perhaps racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and all offensive utterances are wrong. Government's criminalization micro-regulating compliance is infinitely worse. Only free thought expressed freely allows open debate improving relations by exposing both good and bad to be accepted as society sees fit.
PL Booth is an aviator, retired FAA Controller, biker, lover of the Constitution, citizen activist and blogs in the Missouri Ozark Mountains at the Blue Eye View.

Tags: PL Booth, Blue Eye, freedom of sppech, free speech, loss of freedom, hate speech To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

New York Times Called To Account for False Reporting

Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service: While I support freedom of the press, holding elected official accountable, and the right to have opinions and perspectives different than those public officials, the deliberate manufacturing of facts is not right. Satire yes, lying no!  And, if a major newspaper manufactures facts, it damages all of us. I have often quoted positions and reports by the New York Times. However, the below presented situation places a dark shadow over  the NYT reporting if the situation remains uncorrected and internal action by the publisher to correct these situations whenever they occur.  We don't wish for the New York Times to loose its credibility as did CBS News after it reported manufactured facts.

Over the last week, there has been much discussion via emails, blogs, and correspondence concerning the NYT article that had alleged false facts / lies regarding Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA-49th District) and his office. It is concerting that the New York Times authors would attack Rep. Issa with false facts after having  ignored the alledged illegal actions and continued bazaar and hateful speech of Rep. Maxine Walters (D-CA-35th District) and the failed leadership of the minority leader and former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelois (D-CA-8th District). Of course, maybe that is all we can expect from the press residing within a State where they have politicians like NY Mayor Bloomberg who openly denied ministers praying at a 9-11 memorial,  A state that allows non-residents to relocate to New York and file to be their elected officials like former Senator Hillary Clinton. And the continued to sweep dirt under the proverbial carpet for people like the un-venerable Rep. "Charlie" Rangel (D-NY-15th Disrict) who was found guilty by the Ethics Committee of violating 11 counts of House ethics rules including improperly renting multiple rent-stabilized New York apartments, improperly using his office in raising money for the Rangel Center at the City College of New York, and failing to disclose rental income from his villa in the Dominican Republic.  Thankful, these cited liberals do not represent all of New York. The New York Times has excellent examples in conservatives like Rep. Peter King (R-NY-Dist 3rd District), former NY Gov. George Pataki (R), and NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).

So what is the agenda of the NY Times writers in their reporting on Rep. Darrell Issa? Is it that Rep. Issa is proving to be a major thorn in the side of the Obama administration and democrats with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings.

Today, Frederick Hill, Communications Director for Rep. Darrell Issa released the following information and letter sent to the New York Times.

Representative Darrell Issa
49TH District of California

August 26, 2011

Contact: Frederick Hill 202-225-0037

Rep. Issa’s Office Presses NY Times on False Story After Two New Major Corrections Gut Article’s Evidence

WASHINGTON. D.C. – The office of Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, today sent a letter to New York Times Assistant Managing Editor and D.C. Bureau Chief Dean Baquet. The letter is in response to one sent to Rep. Issa last night acknowledging two additional significant factual errors in the New York Times’ August 15 front page article while refusing to correct other errors or issue a retraction.  The Times has now run corrections on three items in the story.

Below is the text of the letter sent to Mr. Baquet from Rep. Issa’s Director of Communications:

August 26, 2011
Mr. Dean P. Baquet
Assistant Managing Editor
Washington Bureau Chief
New York Times Washington Bureau
1627 I Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

Dear Mr. Baquet:

As Congressman Darrell Issa’s Director of Communications, The New York Times’ acknowledgement of two more critical errors in its front page article of August 15 in addition to a previous error corrected on August 16 are steps in the right direction.  The new acknowledgment of these false assertions about enormous profits from the sale of a mutual fund and the appreciation of a commercial real estate property owned by Rep. Issa fully removes all examples cited in the article as evidence that the “congressman’s government actions [help] to make a rich man even richer” and that values of his holdings have “soared” due to his official actions.

However, The Times’ continued refusal to accept clear evidence of other mistakes, your unwillingness to retract a deeply flawed story even after acknowledging that factual pillars of the article are incorrect, and your failure to address or defend the conduct of the story’s author, Mr. Eric Lichtblau, is deeply disappointing and makes your response to the issues raised by our office and others inadequate. Your August 25 letter to Rep. Issa, in fact, contains a number false assertions and worrisome distortions as I will explain.

“A gleaming office building overlooking a golf course”
Incredibly, the New York Times continues to dismiss the reporting of other news outlets and first-hand sources who have visited the location of the building where Rep. Issa’s office is located and reported that the building has no golf course view.

The North County Times reported: “[Issa’s] Vista district office [is] in a three-story building that the New York Times referred to as ‘gleaming’ and overlooking a golf course. The building, in fact, is nondescript, overlooks Highway 78 and has no golf course view.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported: “The U-T visited Issa’s offices on Friday, and the Shadowridge Country Club isn’t plainly visible. It’s about a 1.5 mile drive from Issa’s parking lot to the clubhouse … The area is not characterized by rugged foothills so much as suburban living. Down the street are a Burlington Coat Factory, Target and 24 Hour Fitness.”

The owner of the building where Rep. Issa’s office is located has also called the New York Times report an error: “None of the offices located within the Vista Corporate Center at 1800 Thibodo Road, including the office of Congressman Darrell Issa on the third floor, have a view of any golf course whatsoever. Any reports to the contrary are in error.”

While Eric Lichtblau, in an e-mail sent August 15, stated that leasing agents “have advertised its views of the Shadowridge golf course,” the New York Times has not produced any such evidence. The advertisement The Times has produced ( that references “direct views to the golf driving range” is not a reference to the Shadowridge Golf Course, but is an out-of-date reference to the Vista Golf Practice Center that was once located at 1850 Thibodo Road next door to the building where Rep. Issa’s office is currently located. This driving range was closed many years ago and is currently the site of an apartment complex that one can see on a Google satellite image. As best as I can discern, this out-of-date real estate advertisement is the basis for your decision to reject the accounts of other news outlets who have visited the building and other firsthand sources.

That The New York Times, in the lede of a front page story, would assert that a reporter personally witnessed a golf course view while citing as evidence an out-dated and misinterpreted real estate advertisement indicates an incredibly cavalier approach to ethics and journalistic integrity at your newspaper.  While the reporter’s false assertion and the deception he commits against his readers in an effort to foreshadow his clearly negative opinion of Rep. Issa is regrettable, the continuing efforts of The Times’ management to cover-up errors in this deeply flawed article is outright shameful.  It is even more so given comments, attributed to you by Politico, that indicate your own doubts about the office’s view: “I don’t think it implied — at least to my mind — that Issa’s office overlooked the golf course.”  An appropriate and unbiased description in the story would have said “freeway” or “apartment complex” rather than golf course – which cannot be seen from the building.

“A major supplier of alarms to Toyota”
The Times’ continued defense of the false claim that Rep. Issa’s former company, DEI Holdings, was “a major supplier of alarms to Toyota” and that this relationship created a conflict-of-interest is deeply disappointing and contrary to the evidence. Toyota, itself, has disputed this claim telling multiple news outlets, “DEI Holdings is not a direct supplier of Toyota ...” While we have never disputed that some products made by Rep. Issa’s former company are compatible with Toyotas and that some Toyota owners choose to purchase such products, this is far from any reasonable definition of a “major supplier of alarms to Toyota.” According to The New York Times’ definition, even makers of fuzzy dice would be considered major suppliers to Toyota.

When Eric Lichtblau first wrote about Rep. Issa’s involvement with hearings examining Toyota safety defects on February 23, 2010, he noted that Rep. Issa’s former company had sold alarms “for Toyotas and many other makes.” He was also told explicitly by an Issa spokesman that Rep. Issa had, “no vested interest in Toyota's success or failure” and that the firm had never had exclusive contracting agreements with Toyota.

Contrary to assertions made by you and Mr. Lichtblau, when Rep. Issa was asked the next day by Don Imus about this report written by Mr. Lichtblau, he never once said or indicated he had ever been a supplier to Toyota nor did he confirm past ties to Toyota.  His statements and references to himself as a former “automobile supplier” did not mention specific companies with whom he had conducted business. I encourage you to re-review this interview since The Times, readily and erroneously, discarded specific denials from Rep. Issa’s office on this matter long before your error-ridden August 15 story was written.  In addition, it is surprising that The Times would even attempt to make this assertion without first contacting Toyota.

Questions About Mr. Lichtblau’s Improper Conduct
Rep. Issa’s office decided not to speak with Mr. Lichtblau for his August 15 story because of concern about his inability to put his negative view and bias against Rep. Issa aside in objectively reporting this story.  After reading his story, which contained multiple errors smearing Rep. Issa, we feel vindicated by our decision. Had The New York Times assigned a different reporter, our response would have almost certainly been different.

While you do not offer a clear defense of Mr. Lichtblau’s bias against Rep. Issa and his efforts to smear him with factual errors and other distortions, your letter does contain explicit descriptions explaining your views of my efforts to work with him on correcting factual errors in his story. What follows is a timeline of my interaction with him:
  • Monday, August 15th, 9:15 a.m., I wrote Mr. Lichtblau asking for corrections from the New York Times. I asked for three corrections: the golf course error, the multibillion rather than multimillion misstatement, and correction of the "major supplier" to Toyota assertion.
  • On the same day, at 10:31 a.m., Lichtblau wrote back that the multibillion error was a typo that will be corrected, but refused the other two requests. He cited an unspecified advertisement as the source for the golf course statement and an Imus clip from over a year ago as the source on the Toyota supplier confirmation.
  • At 11:37 a.m., I responded to Mr. Lichtblau expressing my continued disagreement on the items he refused to correct. I asked him to provide me with his editors’ contact information if he still found himself in disagreement with my requests.
  • At 3:13 p.m., nearly four hours later, he responded to my e-mail with a reply that, in its entirety, read: “You must not have seen the Imus interview.”  He did not include any names or contacts for his editors.
I hope this timeline is helpful as your assertion that his nearly four hour delay in responding to my second e-mail indicated that he “responded promptly” and your omission of my specific request to be put in touch with editors in my second e-mail suggests you may be misinformed.

Finally, we are disappointed that your response did not address accusations brought forward by Mr. Lee Fang of the Center for American Progress who raised concerns via Twitter with Mr. Lichtblau and The New York Times public editor that this story plagiarized or took without proper attribution items he had previously written about on the blog ThinkProgress. We certainly noticed Mr. Fang’s complaint:
"lhfang Lee Fang: Hey @EricLichtblau & @thepubliceditor your NYT Issa piece looks awfully familiar (see &"

Indeed the items, at least those that could be best categorized as half-truths, appear to be primarily items that are not original reporting but recycled material previously raised by left-wing organizations. We would certainly, however, agree that the most serious errors, including the three that have been the subject of corrections The Times has so-far run and the two I have focused on in this correspondence, all represent original reporting from The New York Times.

We repeat our request and ask that The New York Times reconsider Rep. Issa’s request for a full front page retraction of the August 15 story as well as your attention to multiple errors that have still not been corrected.

Sincerely yours,
Frederick Hill
Director of Communications

cc: Arthur S. Brisbane, Public Editor

Tags: New York Times, false reporting, Rep. Darrell Issa, Press Release To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

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