Thursday, November 27, 2014
   
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Letters to the Editor

Obamacare collapsing

Two years ago I was involved in a back-and-forth over funding for Egypt and the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, being accused by a third party of “...sounding like two adolescents on the playground. If I can’t be quarterback, I’ll take my ball and go home.”

I don’t want to be quarterback. I just bring my ball every day. At that time I wrote “Maybe Mubarak wasn’t the best leader for their country. At least there was peace.” and “Which is better, having hungry people or making them casualties of war?” It’s interesting that after President Obama’s intervention (getting his Muslim Brotherhood buddies in power), the Egyptian people are right back where the protests began. It only took Mohamed Morsi (the victor of their democratic election) one year to morph into a regime so oppressive that the military had to step in and overthrow him.

I was ambivalent about our funding Egypt then, but I opposed sending tanks and fighter jets while Morsi was in power. Obama’s decision to do so may have actually had the unintended consequence of prompting the military, which has generally been the only force of stability in the country, to take action. Hindsight shows that sometimes internal struggles should remain internal.

Morsi ruled in a way that Obama can only salivate over trying to do in this country. Obama doesn’t have the patience to implement socialism by the prescribed long drawn out struggle, but he has succeeded in the illusion that he is unattached to five years of chaos, while managing to “fundamentally transform” our nation into something no-one recognizes and most don’t want.

Case in point: Obamacare. The president told us it would not add one dime to the deficit. Now it is projected to add $6.2 trillion. The original 2,000+-page law has spawned 20,000 pages of regulations so far. Implementation dates are being extended. Insurance companies are being forced to raise rates and drop coverage. Even though his name is in Obamacare, low information voters don’t make the connection.

When mental patients like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speak on your behalf—“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”—even non-teleprompter gibberish sounds intellectual.

Now that Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight, Democrats like Senator Max Baucus are calling it a “...train wreck...” Pelosi attempted to outdo herself by telling us “...when we celebrate Independence Day we’ll also be observing health independence...” and the law “...captures the spirit of our founders,” citing the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

Only in the mind of a progressive/socialist could the words “all men are...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights...to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...” be distorted as, we don’t care if 75% of you don’t want this, we Democrats know what’s best for you (all of us except the president; he wasn’t a part of it).

 

Tyranny being redefined

On April 29 of this year President Obama called NBA player Jason Collins to congratulate him for his courage in coming out as a gay black man. Last year on Sept. 11, as four truly courageous public servants were being murdered in Benghazi, Libya, the only phone call Obama made was to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Apparently to get their cover-up story straight for the next day’s press statement.

Obama said “We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.” Now nine months later, a film maker thrown in jail on bogus charges, is the only evidence of that commitment.

When Obama tells people “we’ve got your back,” I wonder who was behind Ambassador Chris Stevens as he was being slaughtered? We still don’t know what Obama did that night or who gave the order for military personnel to stand down (not make a rescue effort).

It brings to mind Jack Nicholson’s line from “A Few Good Men” “We use words like honor, code, loyalty...as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline.”

Since the Obama administration hasn’t been forthcoming with information, congressional investigations have attempted to bring out the truth. In defiance, Obama told graduates at Ohio State University on May 5, that they should reject voices that warn of government being the root of all our problems. “They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.”

Five days later, news came out that the IRS Exempt Organizations division has been targeting conservative, religious and pro-Israel organizations applying for tax-exempt status since March of 2010. Hundreds of groups with Tea Party, Patriots, etc. in their names or ones that advocated education about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, were intimidated, forced to jump through hoops and essentially placed on hold for years.

Conveniently, this prevented the groups from contributing to the mid-term and presidential elections. Details of their organizations were given to progressive smear groups and left leaning organizations were given express service to confirmation. Isn’t it comforting to know that 16,000 more IRS agents will be hired to track you down, fine you or throw you in jail if you don’t buy into Obamacare?

Supposedly Obama learned about the scandal only after it came out in the media. Really? I guess the topic never came up during IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman’s 157 visits to the White House between 2009 and 2012. Remember that Obama didn’t know he was smuggling guns to Mexican drug lords either.

The guy who is touted as the smartest person in the room, doesn’t appear to know much. Add in, the DOJ seizing phone records of reporters at the Associated Press and Attorney General Eric Holder lying about his involvement in singling out Fox News reporter James Rosen.

Now the National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting information on 3 billion of your phone calls a day and data mining every keystroke on your email and social networking sites. Don’t forget your credit card information.

What is Obama’s definition of tyranny?

   

‘Runaway train’ quite costly

In an August-2010 letter, I mentioned a USDA employee who made (supposed) racial statements at an NAACP gathering. Shirley Sherrod (a black woman), spoke of how she didn’t use the full force of what she could do in helping a white farmer get a farm loan. A video of this was posted by Tea Party activist Andrew Breitbart on his website. When it became news, Sherrod was hurriedly ordered to resign by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. The NAACP released the statement “We are appalled by her actions... her actions were shameful.” Sherrod said she was taken out of context and claims were made that Breitbart had doctored the video.

When the full video surfaced, the NAACP reversed it’s statement saying they were snookered by Fox News & Breitbart. However, Breitbart had posted his video as he had received it (unedited on his part). Because the NAACP had constantly been calling the Tea Party racist, Breitbart wanted to show where racism really lives. The video showed how the audience was laughing and applauding as Sherrod described how she maltreated the white farmer. They didn’t know her speech was ultimately going to be about redemption.

Attackers accused Breitbart of wanting to destroy Sherrod for her role in “Pigford.” Having never heard of Pigford, Breitbart began to do more research (my hero). A Google search for “U.S. Opens Spigot” returns a New York Times article that completely vindicates the late great patriot Andrew Breitbart for the work he did exposing this story. His attackers are silent.

Pigford vs. Glickman (1999) was a class action lawsuit against the USDA, alleging racial discrimination against black farmers seeking farm loans between 1983 & 1997. Because few records remained for verification, claimants were not required to present evidence that they had been unfairly treated or had even tried to farm. It became a magnet for fraud, by it’s very design encouraged people to lie. In 16 ZIP codes in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and North Carolina, the number of successful claimants exceeded the total number of farms operated by people of any race. Thousands received $50,000 payments.

Congress overrode President George Bush’s veto of the 2008 farm bill, which had a provision allowing late filers to bring new lawsuits. Discrimination suits were brought by Native American, Hispanic and female farmers, but Congress had appropriated only $100 million for compensation.

President Barack Obama was more than willing to accommodate. His political appointees at the Justice and Agriculture Departments engineered a legally questionable way to sidestep Congress (a now common occurrence) by raiding $1.33 billion from a special Treasury Department account, known as the Judgment Fund. A Treasury Department official said, the fund is not politically accessible, only legally accessible. Calling the action “...a license to raid the till.”

In the past five years, a runaway train, driven by racial politics, pressure from influential members of Congress and law firms that stand to gain more than $130 million in fees, has grown to encompass more than 90,000 people who have filed claims. The total cost could top $4.4 billion.

   

States’ rights should prevail

In 1996 President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law. While I agree that marriage should be defined as being between one man and one woman, I don’t believe the federal government has any say in the matter. Problems lie in the fact that people in same-sex unions are denied benefits given to traditional married couples. The law has been controversial ever since it’s enactment.

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is currently deliberating on DOMA’s constitutionality and that of California’s Proposition 8 which is basically the same thing at a state level. Proposition 8 is different in that the state and the people had the constitutional right to enact this legislation in 2008. It was overturned by a U.S. district court judge in 2010, ruling that it violated both the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. In 2012 a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed the decision and a majority of the full Ninth Circuit stayed the ruling, pending appeal. Proponents then filed a petition for SCOTUS to review the case.

People “in the know” are saying that SCOTUS will decide that DOMA is unconstitutional but won’t get involved in Proposition 8, not wanting state’s rights issues in their purview at this time. By declining to act on Prop 8, the decision will effectively go back to the Ninth Circuit Court ruling against the will of the people. I think it is unfortunate that both of these issues are being addressed at the same time. The point at which DOMA is repealed will give sway to one side or the other.

My thinking is, the process should start by looking at over 1,100 benefits that are being given to couples in traditional marriages. Without researching what they are, such a high number makes me think that many of them may not be necessary. States would then define their respective laws, deciding whether or not people in same-sex unions will receive the same benefits allowed to married couples. I think they should, but others disagree. State laws are decided by the democratic process.

Any federal law would only pertain to federal benefits. It would not punish same-sex couples and would not give excessive rewards to anyone. It would not define marriage. I’m not militant about the word marriage, but I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think it right to redefine what has been associated with religion by millions of people for thousands of years. This is a complicated issue and the process will not be easy. That federal courts can so easily overturn the will of the people will continue to keep decisions in limbo. The main objective should be looking at ways of getting the federal government out of the mix.

We need to keep in mind that media coverage of this is a distraction from the most pressing problem the country faces. If we don’t fix our dying economy, most other issues become irrelevant.

   

Attention pet owners

I walk with our dog in Ehmen Park and around Lake Helen almost daily. A pet peeve of mine (pardon the pun) has grown exponentially in the past few years. My pet peeve is the dog waste left on sidewalks, along sidewalks and in the grass of our park areas. We have a great walking path around the lake that has been less than desirable because of the goose waste. Now that the lake’s rehabilitation has begun, I have high hopes this annoyance will disappear. However, dog waste is even more of a problem and seems to be piling up at an alarming rate. I might miss Bentley’s mess once in a while, but I seldom finish a walk without using a litter bag. Please, pet owners, take responsibility for your pets, respect our parks and keep them clean for other users.

 

 

   

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