Archive for January, 2014

After Signing Pledge to Uphold Constitution New Mexico Chief of Police Harassed by Feds, Placed on Leave

January 31, 2014

Sheriff orders Chief Shane Harger to disband town’s entire police department due to his “political affiliations”

Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars.com, January 30, 2014

A New Mexico Police Chief was detained and harassed by federal agents while traveling to a constitutional convention before returning home to be told he was being placed on administrative leave and ordered to disband his police department after signing a pledge to uphold the bill of rights.

Police Chief Shane Harger of the Jemez Springs, NM Police Department was flying out of Albuquerque Airport last week on his way to a Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) convention taking place in Las Vegas. CSPOA is an organization headed up by Sheriff Richard Mack under which law enforcement officers gather to re-affirm their commitment to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Police Chief Shane Harger

Before passing security, Harger was approached by a TSA agent who asked the Police Chief to show his credentials. Moments later, a man claiming to be a “federal agent” also asked to see Harger’s credentials before telling him he was a “person of interest.” The federal agent then demanded to know where Harger was traveling to and why.

When Harger told the federal agent he was attending the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association Convention in Las Vegas, he was detained for 35 minutes before finally being allowed to board the airplane.

On Tuesday January 28, a day after his return, Harger was placed on administrative leave and ordered by Sandoval County, NM, Sheriff Douglas C. Wood to disband his entire police department due to his “political affiliations”.

What were his political affiliations? While attending the convention, Harger, along with 38 other police officers, signed a declaration affirming their pledge to “obey and observe” the U.S. Constitution, in addition to refusing to carry out unconstitutional orders such as gun confiscation without constitutionally compliant warrants, violations of the 4th amendment without probable cause, detainment or incarceration of citizens without probable cause, or working with the military for domestic law enforcement.

In other words, Harger was targeted for federal harassment and subsequently suspended for re-affirming his belief in the very Constitution he took an oath to uphold and protect in order to become a police officer in the first place.

“Despite having received a meritorious commendation from the Mayor of Jemez Springs on January 22, 2014, it seems that no one in the village government is willing to come to the assistance of Harger. It appears that Harger’s stance to defend and uphold the Constitution has put him and his entire department of ten part-time and volunteers out of business,” writes Vincent Finelli.

“I was at the convention and I never saw nor heard anyone say nor do anything that was a violation of any law. The CSPOA convention was an assembly of Americans who just wanted to uphold their oath of office, that being to support and defend the US Constitution and Bill of Rights” adds Finelli.

Harger’s treatment is yet another disturbing indication that the federal government, in addition to law enforcement authorities, view Americans who support the bill of rights as domestic extremists. Harger’s position as Chief of Police also shows that they are desperate to prevent citizens who identify as Constitutionalists from holding any position of influence within law enforcement or society in general.

Harger’s potential dismissal for his patriotic and constitutional “political affiliations” is a chilling reminder that such positions are not only not welcomed but actively discriminated against by the federal government.

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Mexico Protects Its Borders Better Than These United States

January 31, 2014

In Mexico, illegal immigration is not tolerated

Adan Salazar, Infowars.com, January 30, 2014

Mexico is one of the roughest places for illegal immigrants.

Mexico regards illegal immigrants as felons.

Mexico regards illegal immigrants as felons.

Even though the country’s rural living standards are generally poor, it has its own immigration problems. People from Cuba regularly attempt to cross its borders, and others from Central and South America emigrate there as well.

However, unlike in the U.S., people that enter Mexico illegally can endure harsh detentions, are regarded as felons and can be at any time subject to a citizens’ arrest.

Indeed, one United Nations Human Rights representative upon visiting Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, remarked,

Mexico is one of the countries where illegal immigrants are highly vulnerable to human rights violations and become victims of degrading sexual exploitation and slavery-like practices, and are denied access to education and healthcare.

The Guatemalan border is Mexico’s most porous, and border guards act with violent vigilance to protect it. “The guards’ use of violence, rape, and extortion against those seeking to cross into Mexico has, in fact, managed the border so well that the country has only a minimal illegal-immigration problem,” DiscoverTheNetworks.org has pointed out.

Despite their own country’s harsh treatment of undocumented immigrants, no one in Mexico is calling for “reform” to their immigration policies. Instead, members of Mexico’s fleeing population sometimes become adamantly vocal once they enter the U.S. illegally, and join protests organized by leftist coalitions against our already incredibly lax border policies.

Farm workers march for amnesty in downtown Los Angeles / Image: Wikimedia Commons

Farm workers march for amnesty in downtown Los Angeles / Image: Wikimedia Commons

But in Mexico, don’t think this type of behavior would be tolerated.

For starters, illegal immigrants are barred from upsetting “the equilibrium of the national demographics,” according to Mexico’s immigration policy.

Under Mexico’s Immigration Law, illegal immigration is considered a felony punishable by up to two years in prison “and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.”

Migrants are only welcomed “according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress,” and only after immigration officials “ensure” that “immigrants will be useful elements for the country and that they have the necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.

Furthermore, Mexico’s Secretary of Governance, the counterpart to the U.S.’s Homeland Security Secretary, can “suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest,” and close tabs are also kept on those who permeate its borders.

However, despite strict laws governing immigration, the Mexican government has worked backhandedly to ensure U.S. border control efforts are stifled.

In 2007, the Mexican government gave the go-ahead to its U.S. consulates to “ramp up a campaign to toughen their defense of immigrants and plans to give them more resources as well,” a report in the Dallas Morning News states.

“Among the actions under discussion are the creation of an anti-defamation league similar to that focused on protecting Jews; budget increases for some of the 47 consulates, especially in regions such as North Texas, where Mexican migration has been swift and plentiful; and a media campaign aimed at counteracting groups opposed to illegal immigration and sometimes legal immigration,” the Morning News reported.

Reports abound (here, here and here) of U.S. Border Patrol agents who claim they’ve been ordered to stand down from securing our nation’s borders or reduce their capture of immigrants. No doubt treating our borders as if they’re non-existent ensures Mexico’s authoritarian laws and politics find their way into the U.S.

For a country whose own laws strictly manage immigration, the Mexican government certainly doesn’t practice what it preaches.

This Is Not The Purpose of Law Enforcement in a Free Society!

January 31, 2014

Girl Banned From Selling Cupcakes is Proof that Government is Out of Control

From EconomicCollapse by Michael Snyder, January 31, 2014

America is being suffocated to death by red tape.  You are about to read about an 11-year-old girl in Illinois that had her cupcake business brutally shut down by government bureaucrats.  Her name is Chloe Stirling and her crime was doing something that we used to applaud young people in America for doing.

Instead of sitting on her sofa and watching television all day, she actually started her own business.  And it turned out there her little business started thriving.  In fact, it started doing so well that a local newspaper took notice of it.  Well, that is when the control freaks swooped in and took her business away and banned her from selling any more cupcakes.  The really sad thing is that people are being paid to do this with our tax dollars.  All over America, little entrepreneurs are having their lemonade stands shut down and are being banned from selling Girl Scout cookies, and our tax dollars are paying the people that are doing it.  As I wrote about earlier this month, the level of economic freedom in the United States is at an all-time low, and it gets worse with each passing year.  The country that so many of us love is dying, and it is being replaced with something that I like to call “the USSA”.

In the Union of Soviet Socialist Americans, you have to have a government “license” or “permit” to do just about anything.  If the government does not give you permission, you can get into a whole lot of trouble.

Little 11-year-old Chloe Stirling must have thought that this was still the nation that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson once founded, because she dared to actually start a business and sell cupcakes to the public.  Little did she know that she would soon make national news

An 11-year-old girl from Illinois got a dose of regulation American-style this week when local government officials shut down her cupcake business.

Chloe Stirling, from Troy, got the front-page treatment from her local newspaper, which featured how well her business, Hey, Cupcake, was doing. By all accounts, it was a successful little enterprise. Chloe was getting $10 for a dozen cupcakes and $2 for each specialty cupcake. She even donated her cupcakes when a boy in her school fighting cancer held a fundraiser.

So why did they shut her down?

Well, it turns out that she didn’t have a “permit” to sell cupcakes and her kitchen was not “licensed”.

Like I said, you have to have permission from the government to do just about anything these days.

Another example of this phenomenon that is absolutely infuriating took place out in Fauquier County, Virginia.  When a mother held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls and posted the photos on Facebook, she never imagined that she would soon be hit with $15,000 in fines…

Martha Boneta owns a small farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, where she recently hosted a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls. They wore hats, picked veggies, and made goat’s milk soap. The county says she should have obtain a license before hosting such an event and hit her with a $5,000 fine.

Boneta also got slammed with two more fines for $5,000 each, one for advertising a pumpkin carving and another for violations in the small shop on her property. Boneta sells produce from her farm, as well as eggs, yarn, birdhouses, and local crafts. She sought and received a license for the shop in 2011, but the county now says she can’t sell handiwork or produce from her neighbors under that license.

Stuff like this just makes me want to scream sometimes.

What is happening to this country?

A few years ago, my wife used to take old pieces of furniture, sand them down, repaint them and sell them to others.  It was something that she really enjoyed doing and she made some extra money along the way.

But if you try doing that in some areas of the country today, the EPA could potentially hit you with a fine of $30,000 for a single incident in which you do not follow the proper procedures.  The following is an excerpt from a discussion that some furniture painters were having on Facebook.  It is a little technical, but it is worth reading.  In this excerpt the identity of the business has been removed to protect the business from overzealous regulators…

As a painter in PA, I am required by law to test everything that I disturb and I must charge the customer $60 for every test I perform which adds up. What the law states in my area is that if I disturb more than 6 square inches on anything made prior to Jan 1 1979 I must test it. Disturbing means, sanding, scraping, or even using a sponge/scuff pad (like you use on your pots) if I disturb more than 6 inches, I must take photographs, document in 4 different logs, I have local, county, state, and federal log books. If I find lead then I must suit up. Originally, the law stated that if there were no children around then you didn’t have to do that however some lame brained legislator decided that if a child enters the premises for more than one hour a day, we must assume they will be in contact with the lead and therefore will contract lead poisoning. Then the legislators decided that if you were over the age of 60 then it didn’t matter, you didn’t have to test who cares if you get poisoned. Lo and behold OSHA stepped in and joined forces with the EPA, they decided that all were at risk including your pets and the leaves on your trees can hold the lead dust and …..well, that’s a whole other issue.

What is happening now is that so many painters decided they weren’t going to follow the lead law, that OSHA and EPA send out secret shoppers. A lot of us don’t even put our logo’s on our vehicles because that invites these shoppers to investigate. If you come to the **** ********, you won’t see signage on the building, you have to get to the actual door of the workroom to know we are there. We no longer have logo’s on our vehicles either as the fines are too stiff. There isn’t one of us that can afford a find of $30,000.00 A DAY, not a year, A DAY.

The government bureaucrats are running wild and the rest of us are just sitting back and letting it happen.

Things have gotten so bad in this country that the federal government even requires small-time magicians to submit “disaster plans” for the rabbits that they use in their acts.  The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles

Central planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control.  These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape.  For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows.  Yes, this is actually true.  His name is Marty Hahne, and he thought that it was bad enough when the U.S. Department of Agriculture busted him for not having a “license” for his rabbit.  He went out and acquired the proper “license” for his rabbit, but he never dreamed that eventually he would also have to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the same rabbit.

You can read the rest of that article right here.

Are you starting to get the picture?

These control freaks want to completely dominate every aspect of our lives.  The “nanny state” is entirely out of control and it is up to “we the people” to do something about it.

Barack Obama revealed the kind of mentality that is behind this “nanny state” when he recently made the following statement

“I would not let my son play pro football”

And without a doubt, the control freaks that run things will try to ban football (or at least “tone it down”) the moment that they think that they can get away with it.

America was supposed to be a place where liberty and freedom were maximized and the interference of the federal government in our lives was supposed to be minimized.

Instead, what we have now is just the opposite.

No wonder Americans consider the government to be their biggest problem.

 

Wounded Pittsburgh Police Dog Dies

January 30, 2014

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Michael Hasch and Margaret Harding, January 30, 2014

The Pittsburgh police dog stabbed in an altercation has died, police said Thursday.

Police confirmed the death at about 6:50 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty Emergency Center in Ohio Township.

Throughout the day, updates indicated Rocco, an 8-year-old German shepherd, was improving. His condition at one point was upgraded to stable, but by 5:30 p.m. about two dozen officers were at the clinic and some were crying outside.

Pittsburgh Police provided this photo of K-9 officer Rocco. Police said a suspect stabbed Rocco in the back during an incident Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

Police said John L. Rush, 21, of Stowe attacked Rocco with a pocket knife, stabbed his handler, Officer Philip Lerza, in the shoulder, and hurt two other officers when they struggled to apprehend him in the basement of a Lawrenceville building Tuesday night. Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputies were seeking Rush on bench warrants.

The stabbing tore the dog’s back muscles, damaged a bone in his spine and lacerated his kidney. Doctors performed two surgeries, removed the kidney and replaced at least five liters of Rocco’s blood.

Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement, “He served this city faithfully and paid the ultimate price in the line of duty in service of the residents of our City. His brave actions very possibly spared the lives of two other officers.”

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the police bureau is not soliciting money for the medical care of Rocco, and the city will pay for his medical expenses. In a news release sent Wednesday night, she said the Fraternal Order of Police set up a medical fund at the Greater Pittsburgh Police Federal Credit Union.

Credit Union CEO Karen Janoski said she worked with the FOP to set up the fund in response to calls.

“So many people have called,” Janoski said. “Our phone has been ringing off the hook this morning. All we’re trying to do is make sure the dog has the best care.”

Sgt. Mike LaPorte, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said the money collected by the credit union could be donated to the city to off-set the cost of Rocco’s medical treatment.

“It’s an avenue for people who want to support,” LaPorte said.

Local Police Adopting Military Technology and Tactics

January 30, 2014

From The New American by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D., January 30, 2014

Robots, facial recognition, and drones. These are the technologically advanced tools that used to belong to the military, but are now commonplace in local police departments.

Local Police Adopt Military Technology and Tactics

Photo of team of police and SWAT robot in Sanford, Maine: AP Images

As The New American has reported, police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country every day look less like peace officers and more like warfighters.

Using threats of terrorism as a pretext, police are buying (or receiving in free grants) tools developed for the armed forces and using them to carry out police raids or even to serve a simple warrant.

Unfortunately, it seems that if police departments have these million-dollar vehicles, weapons, and software, they will use them.

Jim Fitzgerald worked for eight years as a vice and narcotics squad detective in Newark, New Jersey, before joining the staff of The John Birch Society. He is point man for the conservative organization’s “Support Your Local Police” initiative.

In an interview with The New American, Fitzgerald said there is “virtually no use” for the military-grade equipment being bought by local law enforcement with DHS grant money.

“The only reason to have this equipment is to use it,” Fitzgerald said, and it is likely it would be used against local citizens who have risen up and created some sort of civil disorder.

The assault, then, on civil liberties is coming not just from Capitol Hill, but from police precincts down the street.

Techcrunch reports:

The impoverished city of Oakland is spending more than $10 million on a “Domain Awareness Center” surveillance hub for its cops, and cameras that track every license plate they see. Baltimore and NYC track license plates, too. Meanwhile, according to the LA Times, “Unmanned aircraft from an Air Force base in North Dakota help local police with surveillance,” and Motherboard reports: The Border Patrol’s fleet of Predator drones were loaned out 248 times in 2012, to “unnamed sheriff’s departments, the Department of Defense, the DEA, the Texas Rangers, and even the Bureaus of Land Management and Indian Affairs.”

From license plate readers to facial recognition software, from surveillance cameras to cellphone signal trackers, the Department of Homeland Security is providing police with all the gadgets, hardware, and software necessary to keep everybody under surveillance, without the targeted public ever realizing that it’s the Capitol, not the cops, that are behind the monitoring.

Local police who participate in the program will have access to a shockingly broad array of personal information of citizens. Facial recognition technology, license plate readers, and stop light camera video feeds will all be funneled to a Regional Operations Intelligence Center where FBI, police, and DHS agents can watch the live feeds.

The threat has been creeping up on us for a while now.

Over two years ago, Business Insider reported on the increasingly militaristic materiel being bought by police:

The U.S. military has some of the most advanced killing equipment in the world that allows it to invade almost wherever it likes at will.

We produce so much military equipment that inventories of military robots, M-16 assault rifles, helicopters, armored vehicles, and grenade launchers eventually start to pile up and it turns out a lot of these weapons are going straight to American police forces to be used against US citizens.

In a story published in The Daily, Tim Lynch of the Cato Institute said, “The trend toward militarization was well under way before 9/11, but it’s the federal policy of making surplus military equipment available almost for free that has poured fuel on this fire.”

The Daily continues:

Thanks to it, cops in Cobb County, Ga. — one of the wealthiest and most educated counties in the U.S. — now have an amphibious tank. The sheriff of Richland County, S.C., proudly acquired a machine-gun-equipped armored personnel carrier that he nicknamed “The Peacemaker.”

This comes on top of grants from the Department of Homeland Security that enable police departments to buy vehicles such as “BearCats” — 16,000-pound bulletproof trucks equipped with battering rams, gun ports, tear-gas dispensers and radiation detectors. To date, more than 500 of these tank-like vehicles have been sold by Lenco, its Massachusetts-based manufacturer, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

From the arsenal to the attitude, police are acting less like public servants and more like special forces.

In an essay published in the Wall Street Journal last August, Radley Balko, author of Rise of the Warrior Cop, presented chilling and convincing evidence of the blurring of the line between cop and soldier:

Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

Balko rightly connects the menace of the martial police with the decline in liberty and a disintegration of legal boundaries between sheriffs and generals:

Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe’s emperors and monarchs.

Cato Institute’s Tim Lynch points out the creep of the combat attitude. “It’s kind of had a corrupting influence on the culture of policing in America,” Lynch says. “The dynamic is that you have some officer go to the chief and say, people in the next county have [military hardware], if we don’t take it some other city will. Then they acquire the equipment, they create a paramilitary unit, and everything seems fine.

“But then one or two years pass. They say, look we’ve got this equipment, this training and we haven’t been using it. That’s where it starts to creep into routine policing.”

The John Birch Society’s Jim Fitzgerald agrees. DHS, Fitzgerald believes, may be anticipating these riots and looks to them as a justification for the militarization of the police. “They [DHS grants] are not good, not healthy, and not constitutional,” Fitzgerald added.

Finally, there is nothing in the Constitution authorizing the federal government to dole out the billions of dollars in grants that are behind the militarization of the police.

The solution, then, to the military tactics, training, tools, and technology being deployed by local law enforcement could be the application of the Tenth Amendment.

The Tenth Amendment mandates that if the power isn’t granted to the federal government in the Constitution, then authority over that area remains with the states and the people.

Naturally, the bureaucrats in charge of keeping the cash flowing from the Department of Homeland Security to police and sheriffs want to keep the spigot open.

This transfer of technology and materiel will separate the police from the people they serve and make them dependent on their would-be bosses in Washington, D.C.

Police, unless the people stand up and interpose, will become nothing less than federal security agents sworn not to protect and to serve their neighbors, but to protect the prerogatives of politicians.

America Rejects Rule by Decree as Critics Lambaste Obama Speech

January 30, 2014

From The New American by Alex Newman, January 30, 2014

Americans overwhelmingly rejected bizarre threats from an increasingly unpopular Obama to rule by decree, surveys revealed after his State of the Union speech. Despite trying to artificially divide America into different collectivist classes in need of his supposedly benevolent protection and assistance — an age-old ploy used by statists sometimes referred to as “divide and conquer” — women, black leaders, Hispanic activists, small-business owners, and other members of collectivist categories rejected the narrative, too.

Instead, Americans at large and leaders among Obama’s victim castes broadly lambasted the draconian and divisive schemes outlined in the president’s speech. Many called for the administration to be restrained and reined in before it unleashes even more economic damage on the nation. The real solutions to the problems plaguing America are respect for the Constitution and individual liberty, not class warfare and lawless government, critics said.

More than a few analysts and experts also noted that Obama’s unconstitutional agenda — much of which he promised to foist on America by executive decree — would cause major harm to the very same supposed victim groups defined by the president. Virtually every credible economist knows that raising the minimum wage, for example, would further reduce employment opportunities and result in far fewer jobs available to the poor.

Schemes to federally mandate “pay equality” between men and women will also be harmful, women’s groups and female leaders explained — and not just because the premise and statistics Obama touted are incorrect to begin with. Small business owners, meanwhile, despite Obama’s claims, are demanding less government intervention in the economy and their lives, not more. Some military leaders also blasted the president for using a wounded veteran as a “prop” to advance his agenda.

The general public was not impressed with Obama’s outline of assaults on liberty and the Constitution either. In fact, polls showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the president’s machinations to bypass Congress and impose his will by “executive action.” Rasmussen, for instance, found that some 70 percent of likely voters think it is better for Obama to work with lawmakers on issues he considers important. More Americans than not think Congress more closely represents the will of the American people than the president, too, the Rasmussen survey found.

Just 21 percent of respondents in the post-State of the Union poll believed the federal government still has the consent of the governed, echoing other recent surveys showing that more than two thirds of Americans now consider the federal government to be “out of control” and a threat to basic liberties. A separate CNN poll of people who watched Obama’s speech, meanwhile, also found that two thirds opposed allowing him to advance his controversial agenda by executive decree.

Even the largely pro-Obama establishment media called out some of the lies and untruths told by Obama during his speech. FactCheck.org made a mockery of multiple bogus presidential claims, saying it found “overstatements and cherry-picked numbers among the applause lines and proposals in President Obama’s State of the Union address.” Some of the claims were so outrageous — the debate on increasingly discredited global-warming theories is “settled,” for example — that they have been ridiculed around the world.

Beyond making preposterous claims and laying out an agenda for economic fascism and rule by decree, Obama also offered some insight into the tactics employed by his administration to “fundamentally transform” America. Throughout the State of the Union speech, he repeatedly sought to divide Americans into broad collectivist categories — each supposedly requiring his lawless executive actions to get ahead. In other words, Americans are not unique individuals entitled to human rights and equality under the law. Instead, they are defined by superficial collective characteristics.

The speech was steeped in stale class-warfare rhetoric, with “opportunity” as the supposed justification for rule by decree. Low-income workers, Obama claimed, need federal minimum-wage hikes, which economists almost all acknowledge will destroy jobs, harming the poor the most. Government, the president suggested, must take on the role of savior for small businesses. Women, too, need Obama’s protection against alleged discrimination in pay. Veterans were used as props, senior military leaders argued. Members of all the bogus victim groups singled out during the speech, though, firmly rejected the divisive pandering.

“President Obama’s State of the Union once again advanced the narrative that women are a victim class in need of greater government protection,” explained Independent Women’s Forum Executive Director Sabrina Schaeffer, co-author of Liberty Is No War on Women. “And he ignores how laws like the Paycheck Fairness Act or the newly proposed FAMILY Act would impact existing leave programs, discourage flexible work arrangements, reduce employment opportunities for women, and have severe consequences to their pocketbooks.”

Obama also relied on fraudulent statistics — the supposed 77-cent wage gap, for example — that even “liberal feminist” outfits admit is “grossly overstated,” Schaeffer explained in a statement. “Whether he was talking about the so-called wage gap, student loan debt, health care, or workplace regulations, the president continues to act as provider-in-chief, discouraging traditional institutions like marriage, community, and civic organizations that can truly help those in need,” she said.

The real solution to the problems, Schaeffer explained, is more liberty — not more government. “Ultimately, a growing economy free of regulatory burden and a heavy government hand is the real key in helping American workers,” she said. “A freer economy, not more burdensome mandates on business, is the surest way to replenish job opportunities in our communities.”

Multiple black American leaders with the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Project 21 also blasted the “class warfare and contempt for the Constitution” expressed throughout the president’s speech. “Instead of pressing the accelerator on plans to expand government, the president could do taxpayers and the American economy a favor by reversing course,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former professor of constitutional law and former leadership staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Starting with tax relief, a one-year freeze on new regulation and sitting down with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to develop a real solution to the entitlement crisis, the President could set a new course — one that focuses on the real problems that America faces with solutions that have been proven to work,” Cooper added. Numerous other leaders with the free-market oriented Project 21 also rejected Obama’s scheming, wondering whether the president truly understood his job description.

Conservative Hispanics of America founder Andy Ramirez, meanwhile, sharply criticized the president’s amnesty agenda outlined in his speech. “There is no immigration reform, other than Obama’s abolishing by executive order our long-established immigration laws,” he explained. “This violates the basic tenet of why we have long had three branches of government and in reality reads like something out of Hitler’s Germany or even George Lucas’ Star Wars series where ‘democracy dies with thunderous applause’.”

During his speech, Obama urged Congress to advance his “comprehensive immigration reform” schemes, but Ramirez and his organization lambasted the plan. “You can’t reform something you don’t enforce and what is absolutely scary is knowing how fraud filled the last amnesty was — knowing the documented corruption inside the Department of Homeland Security — and coming to the realization of how this next amnesty will be vastly more fraud filled than 1987 was,” said Ramirez, an expert on border issues who has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. “This is of a magnitude that is unimaginable.”

Obama also touted small businesses repeatedly, boasting that his administration “has made more loans to small business owners than any other.” Of course, despite the fact that the ruthless communist regime ruling over China is deeply involved in the allocation of credit, U.S. government loans to business are neither constitutional nor wise.

Even with unconstitutional Obama loans to small business — many of which are struggling under a perpetually ballooning regulatory regime and oppressive taxation — multiple organizations and associations for small and independent firms also criticized the president’s address. Especially troubling were the president’s executive orders and more demands for job-killing minimum-wage hikes, small-business groups said.

Obama’s wild dreams of a supreme executive branch reorganizing the economy and America must be rejected. Aside from such reorganization being anti-constitutional to the core, history is replete with examples of the failure and danger of big government and unconstrained, centralized power. The real solutions to fixing the economy are simple: Restore honest money, constitutional governance, and free markets.

Outraged Republican lawmakers have taken some tepid initial steps to rein in the out-of-control administration. However, if liberty, prosperity, and self-government are to survive in America over the long term, Congress and the American people must act with urgency.

ObamaCare Forces Kids Into Medicaid

January 30, 2014

From The New American by Michael Tennant, January 30, 2014

“The law isn’t making health-care more affordable, it’s masking a huge price increase.”

These sentiments, expressed by Shannon Wendt of Grand Rapids, Michigan, are but the latest version of a common refrain being sung throughout the United States: The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka ObamaCare, is egregiously misnamed.

Wendt, a 30-year-old mother of five, recently discovered what many other parents are also learning the hard way: If their children are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), they must be covered under that program, not under a family health plan bought on an exchange. Otherwise, the family will forfeit its premium-assistance subsidy — in many cases, the only thing making insurance affordable under the ACA, which otherwise drives up premiums.

According to FOXBusiness, Wendt struggled for months to obtain health insurance through Healthcare.gov, spending much of her Christmas Eve trying to make sure her family would be covered when the new year arrived — a necessity given that “her family’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plan was cancelled for not meeting certain requirements under” ObamaCare. On the very last day of 2013, she managed to obtain temporary coverage directly from Blue Cross Blue Shield, albeit with a significantly increased premium and deductible from the family’s previous plan.

Once Wendt — who, with her husband, Zach, is a small-business owner — finally managed to get Healthcare.gov to work, she discovered that because their family income falls below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, the Wendts qualify for a subsidy for buying insurance, and their children are eligible for CHIP. The catch is that the children must be enrolled in CHIP. If they are added to the family’s plan that was purchased on the exchange, the Wendts can kiss their subsidy goodbye.

“If we want our children on our family plan — whether its [sic] two or 10 people — we lose the subsidy,” Wendt told FOXBusiness. “It’s amazing that they are forcing families onto government health-care. It almost feels like an attack on small business owners. This revelation is more frustrating than the initial glitch.”

The Wendts are hardly alone in their predicament.

“It’s a nationwide issue that we’ve heard time and again, and it could have very significant coverage issues for families,” Jessica Waltman of the National Association of Health Underwriters told the Associated Press, which notes that Waltman “said her group has raised the problem, and others, with federal officials and asked for a dedicated hotline or email address for insurance brokers to get answers.”

Thus far, however, Washington has been relatively unresponsive, and so “children are going without coverage,” writes the AP.

“The children are getting stuck in this spot where we’ve enrolled the parent, but we can’t bring the children back on the family plan,” Maria Proulx, senior legal counsel for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire, told a Granite State advisory board earlier this month.

Russell Clouden, 53, of North Port, Florida, “was thrilled to find a better, cheaper family plan through the new marketplace, then stunned to realize his 14-year-old daughter wouldn’t be enrolled because she might qualify for Florida Healthy Kids, the state’s version of CHIP,” reports the AP. “The federal government still hasn’t transferred roughly 90,000 Medicaid files over to Florida officials, including Clouden’s daughter’s, so she still doesn’t have insurance.”

“Based on your income, they’ll separate your kids from your primary policy and they shift them off to Medicaid or Healthy Kids and there’s no way you can bring them back,” Clouden said.

Matthew Dinkel, an insurance broker in Fort Myers, Florida, told the AP “he has about 15 clients in Clouden’s position.”

“I have worried parents literally calling and texting me every day asking for an update,” said Dinkel. “They canceled their old plans that covered their entire family and now they have coverage but their kids don’t.”

New Hampshire construction consultant Marc Jobin told the AP that the enrollment “process has been so confusing, he’s put off a decision for himself, his wife and their two children, even though he’s seen premiums that are significantly lower than what they pay now.”

“We’ve been hesitating for two months now because the information is not clear,” Jobin said. “Around the holidays, we were thinking, ‘let’s do this, let’s sign up,’ and then the latest problem is now our children will probably be thrown into the state health care system, but nobody knows what that means.”

For that matter, nobody even knows for sure if the Jobin kids will end up in the state system. Like Florida, New Hampshire “is getting incomplete application information from the federal government, making it harder to contact people to determine their Medicaid eligibility,” New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services associate commissioner Mary Ann Cooney told the AP.

Robert Clark of California got the runaround from his state insurance exchange but ultimately discovered that he, too, had to enroll his children in Medicaid. He told the AP he “doesn’t like that prospect because the doctors his children have seen since their births don’t take Medicaid.”

That’s because “a lot of Medicaid and CHIP programs pay physicians less than private insurers and Medicare,” Paul Howard, director and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, told FOXBusiness. “When [patients] go to see a specialist, they may wait longer, or not even get to see some of the doctors they want to see.”

Howard said “it’s unclear if [forcing kids into Medicaid and CHIP] is unintentional, or if it is a mechanism to offset the score of the bill, as CHIP is less expensive than federal subsidies,” writes FOXBusiness. The Obama administration isn’t exactly helping to make things any clearer. “The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS] declined to say how the system is supposed to work for families and what problems have emerged,” the AP reports. “But a regional manager for CMS acknowledged the problem … and said the agency is working on it.”

New Hampshire’s Cooney agrees that things are improving, telling the AP, “There’s a real light at the end of the tunnel.”

Of course, given how well ObamaCare has worked out so far, that light at the end of the tunnel just might be an oncoming train.

Integration of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Continues

January 30, 2014

From The New American by Kelly Holt, January 30, 2014

The plans of the last decade for a North American Union (NAU) led by Robert Pastor, director of the Center for North American Studies at American University (AU) in Washington D.C. have accelerated in recent months under different cover. Pastor died on January 8, but not without having done serious damage to American sovereignty. Through his work toward regionalization of Canada, Mexico, and the United States via NAFTA-style trade agreements, such as those repackaged as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), he helped set the stage for the “need” for those trade agreements now being fast-tracked by the Obama administration.

Analysts note that while statists who press for a regional, then a world, government owe much to Pastor’s leadership, it is an idea not likely to lose much momentum with his death. So, while the NAU may be dormant, integration of Canada, Mexico, and the United States forges ahead under a different name. In fact, Canada and Mexico, two of the three nations to have been integrated via the NAU, are now targeted as two of 12 nations to be included in the TPP. As The New American has noted, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been designed to follow the EU example of relentless widening and deepening, constantly eroding national sovereignty, while building “transnational governance” that is not restrained by the checks and balances of national constitutions.

Secretary of State John Kerry said no less in a meeting between himself, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, and Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade Kuribreña. A January 17, 2014 press release of the event announced the collaboration of the three leaders for the purpose of furthering integration of the three nations. “The second lesson that we can learn from the past couple of decades is that globalization isn’t slowing down any time soon.”

And, less than two weeks later, on January 29, 2014, Jerome Corsi wrote for World Net Daily, “Now, ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Secretary of State John Kerry presented evidence that a plan originating with the George W. Bush administration to evolve NAFTA into a European Union-style confederation in North America between the U.S., Mexico and Canada has been put into overdrive with the Obama administration’s effort to obtain ‘fast track authority’ to rush the Trans-Pacific Partnership through Congress with limited debate.”

When asked by a reporter if the United States intended to expand NAFTA, Kerry’s answer “suggested that with the expected ratification by Congress of the TPP, the Obama administration already considers the U.S., Mexico and Canada as part of a ‘post-NAFTA’ world.”

Kerry’s answer? “I think that stepping up, all of us, to the TPP, is a very critical component of sort of moving to the next tier, post-NAFTA. So I don’t think you have to open up NAFTA, per se, in order to achieve what we’re trying to achieve.”

Toward that end, leaders of the three nations will meet at the North American Leaders Summit on February 19 in Toluca, Mexico. It signals what Corsi calls the kick-off of the ‘post-NAFTA’ era. The meeting between President Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is almost a copy of one that took place a decade ago in 2005 in Waco, Texas. At the earlier meeting, President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin met to establish the Security and Prosperity Partnership, fostered by Pastor. The Obama administration has since shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, spp.gov., pledging to barrel full-speed ahead.

The New American and its affiliate The John Birch Society have consistently and accurately exposed the NAU and its threat to American sovereignty for decades. After The John Birch Society, and others like Corsi, began to expose Pastor’s NAU plan, establishing connections between the NAU, Pastor, and the United Nations by connecting their websites, the NAU website was taken down. In fact, in his most recent book, Pastor credited The John Birch Society for the demise of his NAU plan.

But, just like Whac-A-Mole, you can’t keep a good idea down. Readers seeking to understand Pastor’s influence and the impact he had not only in the United States, but abroad, should note the remark of Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade Kuribreña at the January 17 meeting with Kerry: “The North American idea is a very good friend of Mexico and of North America because of what Pastor says — it’s stronger than ever. Mexico, the U.S., and Canada are working together to further our regional community, and that commitment was reaffirmed amongst all of us earlier this morning.”

Analyst Charles Scaliger wrote for The New American in 2013, “In the meantime, expect the Robert Pastors of the world to continue laying the groundwork for eventual North American economic and political union, while simultaneously pushing Transatlantic and Trans-Pacific mergers via the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).”

Corsi once dubbed Robert Pastor the “Father of the NAU”. While serving as vice president of international affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., from 2002-2007, he also served as vice chair of the Independent Task Force on North America. In that post, he authored the Task Force report Building a North American Community (2005), the essential blueprint for implementing the NAU. While no public announcement has been made about Pastor’s replacement, Manuel Suárez-Mier is serving as the CNAS interim director, but some students of the NAU look to members of the 2005 Task Force as possible candidates.

Opposition to the unconstitutional and dangerous trade agreements is critical if American sovereignty stands a chance.

Western Pennsylvania Authorities Arrest Clairton Man Suspected of Dealing Deadly Heroin

January 30, 2014

From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Jason Cato, January 30, 2014

Authorities on Thursday said they arrested a Clairton man and seized more than 2,400 bags of heroin possibly connected to a deadly drug combination believed to have killed as many as two dozen people in Western Pennsylvania in the past two weeks.

Prosecutors from the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General charged Tywon Laniel Newby, 39, with a felony count of possessing with the intent to distribute heroin and a misdemeanor count of possessing heroin. He is being held at the Allegheny County Jail on $150,000 bond.

Newby was at least the fifth person arrested this week by various law enforcement agencies in the region seeking the source of the deadly fentanyl-laced heroin.

“Our agents and investigators are working cooperatively and effectively with their counterparts in the region in an effort to track down the heroin source so that they can be brought to justice,” said Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane, whose agents arrested Newby.

Her office also is involved in the arrest Tuesday of a Zelienople woman accused of selling a heroin-fentanyl mix responsible for three near-fatal overdoses.

On Thursday, agents with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, Allegheny County Drug Task Force, state police and the Clairton, Jefferson Hills and North Versailles police departments raided a house in the 600 block of 3rd Street in Clairton.

Undercover officers previously made two controlled buys from Newby. Investigators confiscated more than $8,500 in cash and 2,425 bags of heroin stamped “Sky High,” the attorney general’s office said.

Investigators believe the “Sky High” stamp could contain heroin and fentanyl, a narcotic painkiller that can be 100 times stronger than morphine. It’s typically prescribed to treat cancer patients and other chronic pain sufferers. They suspect dealers might be “re-branding” their illegal products under different street names because of increased publicity surrounding “Theraflu” and “Bud Ice,” two stamps that the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s forensic laboratory found to contain heroin and fentanyl.

Allegheny County officials on Thursday confirmed 14 of the 15 initial overdose deaths they have investigated so far this week contained heroin and fentanyl, Chief County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said.

“Now I think I have two more,” Williams said.

Toxicology tests are being conducted on those two deaths at the county’s Strip District lab, he said.

“It is my highest priority to find and hold accountable those involved in the distribution this deadly drug mixture,” Kane said.

Anyone with information about heroin distribution is asked to call Kane’s office at 800-442-8006.

Stabbed Pittsburgh K-9 Officer Protected Handler

January 30, 2014
From The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by Margaret Harding, Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pittsburgh police officers stood vigil on Wednesday for a badly wounded police dog that may have saved his partner’s life in a struggle with a knife-wielding suspect.

Pittsburgh Police provided this photo of K-9 officer Rocco. Police said a suspect stabbed Rocco in the back during an incident Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. — Pittsburgh Police

Pittsburgh Police provided this photo of K-9 officer Rocco. Police said a suspect stabbed Rocco in the back during an incident Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

“He’s willing to give his very life to protect yours,” said Sgt. Mike LaPorte, a former K-9 officer and president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1. “It’s a special relationship.”

Knife jabs tore muscles of the dog, damaged its spine and lacerated its kidney late Tuesday, January 28, 2014. The 8-year-old German shepherd known as Rocco got emergency treatment at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty Emergency Center in Ohio Township while officers gathered nearby.

Doctors performed two surgeries, removed the damaged kidney and replaced at least five liters of blood, said Dr. Julie Compton, a staff surgeon.

“He just keeps bleeding and bleeding,” Compton said. “He’s had all he can take, as far as surgeries and transfusions.”

John L. Rush, 21, of Stowe is accused of attacking Rocco with a pocket knife, stabbing his handler, Officer Philip Lerza, in the shoulder, and hurting two other officers when they struggled to apprehend him in the basement of a Lawrenceville building Tuesday night.

“If this dog didn’t take the brunt of what he took from the guy, I’m pretty sure his handler wouldn’t be with us today,” Compton said.

“Our dogs come first,” said Officer Dan Tice, who oversees the K-9 unit.

Lerza, who could not be reached for comment, stayed in the veterinary hospital for hours after the incident, left to get treatment for his wounds and returned, Tice said. Rocco and Lerza have been partners since 2010.

Compton brought her two dogs to donate blood when she came in at 1 a.m. and said a city police dog donated. Fifteen police officers waited at the clinic for hours, she said. Throughout the afternoon, more officers came and went.

“In our mind, (Rocco’s) another officer,” Tice said.

LaPorte described Rocco as a “dual purpose” dog, trained in both patrol and explosive and gun detection. He said Lerza and his family remained by Rocco’s side into the evening.

Rush escaped from an Allegheny County Sheriff’s Deputy who tried to stop him when deputies saw him walking along Butler Street, Lt. Jack Kearney said.

Rush is accused of assaulting a man with a baseball bat during a burglary in December, and of failing to register as a sex offender. He was sought on two bench warrants, Kearney said.

A woman called 911 at 10:30 p.m. when she saw a man, identified as Rush, lurking around a Butler Street building, Lt. Daniel Herrmann said. Pittsburgh police, including canine officers, and deputies surrounded the building. When they found Rush, he lunged at the officers with a pocket knife, Herrmann said.

With help from Rocco, officers apprehended Rush and took him to the Allegheny County Jail. He is charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, torturing a police animal, animal cruelty, burglary, disarming an officer and other crimes.

Assaulting a police officer can result in a 20- to 40-year prison sentence, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said.

If Rush is convicted, “he’s going to spend a great deal of the rest of his life in prison,” Zappala said.

More than 200 people attended a memorial service for Ulf, a Pittsburgh police dog killed in action during a 2008 shootout in Knoxville.

“Our handlers take (their dogs) home,” Tice said. “We spend more time with our dogs than our loved ones. It’s a bond you can’t explain in words.”

Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Staff writer Adam Brandolph contributed to this report.