Monthly Archives: January 2012

Freedom of Speech or Freedom to Spend?

What a week for news. Whether it was ogling to the half sunken Italian cruise ship debacle, watching Newt broadside John King, the Supremes slapping the hands of Texas District Court Judges in their judicial activism in Texas Voting Districts, or maybe one of the best weekend of NFL conference football in memory (yes, football is political); this was a week to remember.

But, there were also some other minor headline news that, while not as dramatic, still pose some of the most interesting and thought provoking topics of our time and generations to come: The First Amendment and its impact on this generation.

While the current falling status of SOPA and PIPA fall under this topic, that will have to wait for another blog on another day.

A few years back when McCain-Feingold became law in 2002, it was the culmination of 8 years of work George Soros has started after the 1994 Congressional mid-terms put Republicans in charge of Congress for the first time in 40 plus years. The following excerpt from Discover the Networks.org laid out a very straightforward vision Soros had:

Most notably, the billionaire financier George Soros began promoting such legislation shortly after the 1994 midterm elections, when for the first time in nearly half a century, Republicans had won strong majorities in both houses of Congress. Political analysts at the time attributed the huge Republican gains in large part to the effectiveness of television advertising―most notably the “Harry and Louise” series where a fictional suburban couple exposed the many hidden, and distasteful, details of Hillary Clinton‘s proposals for a more socialized national health-care system. Indeed the 1994 election became, to a considerable degree, a referendum on this attempted government takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy―and on the Democratic President (Bill Clinton) who had tacitly endorsed it.

Soros was angry that such advertisements had proven to be capable of overriding the influence of the major print and broadcast news media, which, because they were overwhelmingly sympathetic to Democrat agendas, had given Hillary’s plan a great deal of free, positive publicity for months. Three weeks after the 1994 elections, Soros announced that he intended to “do something” about “the distortion of our electoral process by the excessive use of TV advertising.”2 That “something” would be campaign-finance reform.

Starting in 1994, Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI) and a few other leftist foundations began bankrolling front groups and so-called “experts” whose aim was to persuade Congress to swallow the fiction that millions of Americans were clamoring for “campaign-finance reform.” This deceptive strategy was the brainchild of Sean Treglia, a former program officer with the Pew Charitable Trusts.3 Between 1994 and 2004, some $140 million of foundation cash was used to promote campaign-finance reform. Nearly 90 percent of this amount derived from just eight foundations, one of which was OSI, which contributed $12.6 million to the cause.4 Among the major recipients of these OSI funds were such pro-reform organizations as Common Cause ($625,000); Public Campaign ($1.3 million); Democracy 21 ($300,000); the Alliance For Better Campaigns ($650,000); the Center For Public Integrity ($1.7 million); the Center For Responsive Politics ($75,000); Public Citizen ($275,000); and the Brennan Center for Justice (more than $3.3 million).5

Ultimately, these efforts let to McCain-Feingold in 2002. For a review of this article in full (I HIGHLY suggest you read it), here is the link: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=456 . From the date this bill was placed into law, political freedom of speech was quashed against any view that was not supported by the liberal media. McCain-Feingold was laid for an ultimate goal – find legal determinations for anything that could be interpreted as “corporate” spending on political candidates. How far could that interpretation go? Let’s say you work for a corporation out of favor with the current political administration. That corporation pays you wages. Those wages, in turn, might be donated to the candidate of your choice. You see the path this could lead. Before you say “it would never happen” recall the liberties this administration has shredded since January 2009.

Not quite 8 years later in January 2010 and the Supremes knock the ball back towards free speech with the ruling on Citizens United Vs. The Federal Elections Commission. The 5/4 decision by the Higher Court threw Mc Cain-Feingold out along with another Michigan lawsuit from 1990 regarding corporate spending in campaigns. That opened the door for the now infamous “superpacs” that allow groups to spend donations from corporations, labor unions, and whatever happens to donate in unlimited amounts. That is subject to the candidate having no coordination or control over the pac. While the impact of the superpacs were limited in the 2010 Congressional mid-terms as lawyers were still feeling out the ruling implications, the 2012 General Election will have no such intimidation concerns. The Republican Presidential Primary has already seen large amounts being spent on candidates. With a pre-cursor of what Obama and the Democrats will be facing in the fall, cries of “unfair”, and “common voices will be drowned” are now starting to wash across the liberal spin machine.

As the whine across the liberal plains begin to spin, current Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia made a rather straightforward remark regarding the current political barrage of spending now and yet to come:

Scalia was asked about the decision during a presentation before the South Carolina Bar on Saturday, exactly two years after the court handed down the 5-4 decision in the case that led to the rise of Super PACs. They are outside groups affiliated with candidates that can take in unlimited contributions as long as they don’t directly coordinate with the candidate.

“I don’t care who is doing the speech — the more the merrier,” Scalia said. “People are not stupid. If they don’t like it, they’ll shut it off.”

 The reality is that superpacs represent problems for both parties and all political ideologies. Money can and will drown out those without it. However, as Scalia points out, we all have the right (as well as the technology) to make the millions spent trivial if we simply turn off the ads. Other than the ads I have sought out, I have not see one yet that interfered or influenced me one iota. For those that still get their news from the newspaper or broadcast tv, you have a problem. For the rest of using alternative media, we have more than a fighting chance against superpac ads.

How do we know this? Well, take a look inside the numbers at what was spent in South Carolina.

Restore Our Future (Romney) spent $8.3 million
Make US Great Again (Perry) spent $4 million
Winning Our Future (Gingrich) spent $3.8 million
Endorse Liberty (Paul) spent $2.9 million
Our Destiny (Huntsman) spent $2.5 million

The reality is the primaries are watched, read, and researched by people actually involved in the process. Newt’s 12 point blowout underscores that. Now money does matter. It pays for team members, signs, and other grass roots work that is needed to win in any campaign. The debates are watched very carefully as well. John King did more for Newt than any superpac out there with his gaffe last Thursday.

Is it Freedom or Speech or Freedom to Spend? In reality, it is both. That is the good and bad of living in free societies.

Scalia is right. We are not stupid and not only can we turn the mother off; we can TIVO it as well.

I want that right to spend what I want on who and how I want to support. Even if that right gets exploited by slime and sometimes is a real stinkeroo.

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When being a Beauty is a Beast

I wonder what goes through the mind of the infected liberal policy wonks that truly think they can solve the ills of the world through the law. While certain injustices do deserve the attention of lawmakers – instances where discrimination occurs due to one’s religion, color, or sex, a question arises of whether one could (or should) work to legislate away physical inequities.

Now I am not referring to current laws regarding ADA for the truly physically handicapped, I am talking about the physical appearance (or lack thereof) from one person to another. The traits that make us unique as individuals. Let’s face it, some of God’s children have a few more physical assets than others, some are dealt with issues of extreme weight, poor health, etc. I label it under the category of “Life is not Fair”. You can just feel the hair start to stand on the necks of liberals right now…..

Our society has always fawned over physical beauty. It impacts how we view athlete’s ability to perform their sport for our favorite team, health aides are sold using “beautiful” people, movie stars with more eye appeal get more of the big screen, etc.  Currently, one Mitt Romney is leading the Republican Presidential Nominee field with the help of the fact he is a handsome lad and orates well. Were Romney uglier than a wombat with his legislative record, I would daresay he would not be in the field of contention.

And that is the very point that the Sensitivity Police are now moving to make law – that everyone who is not “beautiful” should be given a legal handicap to “equalize’ the playing field. Oh yes – you might want to grab some duct tape to keep your head from exploding. While the concept of giving everyone a fighting chance over looks or lack thereof, taking to the halls of Congress is getting a bit wacky.

This was brought to my attention today when I was solicited for a trade seminar on new insurance coverage to be offered to offset new laws in the area of “Appearance Discrimination”. What? Just saying the words made my mouth feel violated and I wanted to brush my teeth and tongue.. While I focus on energy and fuels now, I still have a role in our insurance operation and have to stay up to date. What I was sent to review was more than alarming – it was scary. Here is an excerpt of the article I was sent:

  • Last year, one of the largest banks in the U.S. was sued by a woman who claimed she was discriminated against because she was “too beautiful.”
  • In 2006, a group of Las Vegas cocktail waitresses sued a casino because of its policy against weight gain.
  • In 2009, an anonymous manager at a trendy clothing company alleged that the CEO personally reviewed photos of the entire sales staff and summarily fired anyone he deemed too unattractive to sell clothes.

Welcome to the brave new world of beauty bias law.

Some say that beauty bias is the last acceptable form of discrimination, but that might be changing. Studies now show that less attractive people suffer tangible, measurable disadvantages in the workplace, from being passed over in hiring and promotion to decreased pay, to being taken less seriously in all aspects of business. And now, the law is taking notice.  One state and six counties and cities in the U.S. have instituted appearance discrimination laws, but lawsuits have been filed all over the country.

This webinar will look at current state and federal beauty bias laws and lawsuits and explore what businesses and organizations should know about appearance-based discrimination.  Topics covered will include: how current discrimination laws may already address appearance, how existing beauty bias laws are working so far, and what you can learn from recent beauty bias cases.

Wait – you mean if my face can stop a clock and the weight scale screams “get off!” then I cannot be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue??!!!

    No, not currently Broom Hilda.

At least not yet.

So what’s next – you can no longer choose your soul mate if they are pretty or buy items how and where you want because a pretty person MIGHT have influenced your decision or you might not choose to eat at an establishment because the human Seabiscut handling food sweats more than a fat cat in Chinatown? Is that a crime?

No, not yet…..

But it could be coming……

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2012 – Looking for grace under pressure

I can only think of 2 numerical years in the since World War II that have had more pressure on them then the year we are now in. George Orwell made 1984 the first year people observed with a jaded eye. For 1984 to have been realized, we would have had to have already been living in a totalitarian state by the time the date rolled around. While those that hated Ronald Reagan in the 80’s certainly may have thought such rubbish, none existed in the US or on a global scale during the point in time.

The next self created numeral calender year panic was 1999 leading up to the year 2000. We all can remember how the technical world was going to crash us back to the stone age when the clock struck midnight and 2000 rolled in. Computers would go on the fritz, ATM’s would start spitting out money, cats sleeping with dogs – you remember. As it all turned out, the world did not crash and burn.

Now we enter into 2012. It has already had plenty of publicity of the year it will be. Of course, we all know the Mayan calender ends on 12-21-2012 and many have prophesized about how it means the end of days. While this may be a year that is full of wierd stuff – it will not be the end of days. That wonderful movie 2012 had some neat special effects, but is otherwise one big pile of baloney.

What 2012 will be is one of the most tumultuous political years we will witness as a free nation. With a national and global economy in the tank, US debt at an all time high, and political activism on both sides of the aisle getting cranked up, this is certain to be a year in which all the stops are pulled out leading up to November 2012 and political change in the United States and our next President. For liberals, it is the reelection of Barry. He has been the answer to their dreams of what they percieve are the ills in America. For those that are ready to get the nation back on the path of the Constitution, it is the ousting of Obama that must be the crown jewel of what should be a very good year for conservatives.

2012 has political pressure being placed on it similar to years when the world was at war.  The pressure of political polarization is at the root of the issue. It is not just the US that is politically polarized, but the entire globe. Those that have worked together on a global basis to bring a “One World Order” with forced socialism, economic manipulation, and taxes out the wazoo (of which Barry was the final puppet put in place) are seeing the first legitimate challenge to their power in 40 years by conservatives across the globe.  Yes, friends, America is still seen as the Shining City on the hill. America is still viewed as the guardian of freedom and justice. If America is allowed to sink into the socialist mire and economic havoc that accompanies it, then the globe loses hope. The political defeat of Barack H Obama will not just spell freedom here in the US, but will ring throughout socialist catacombs around the globe.

The pressure 0n 2012 will be to keep the political process from sliding completely into the mud. Money will pour into this election from all over the globe funding efforts on both sides. The ads this year will most likely be the nastiest we will ever bear witness to because the stakes are high as ever. Obama is the last hope for communists and socialists in the US. Nature took FDR from them, Vietnam brought down LBJ, and Carter’s sheer incompetence ushered him out the door. Clinton was smart enough to recognize radical change to bring in commie agendas does not make for reelection campaign success. Clinton was never the liberal lion as President he would have been if his supporting cast in Congress had remained the same. So their hope is pinned on Barry. But Obama has been such a disaster on so many levels that the commies and socialists know this is their last chance in the US for a least a generation. They will pull out every trick in the bag to help keep him in office. Remember the Black Panthers in Philadelphia in 2008? Barry himself is a true, blue, socialist believer and will play this election out in stunning liberal colors. He will play the race card, class warfare, labor versus corporations, etc. Somewhere along the line a great big cast iron sink will be thrown out for effect.

While I have very little doubt of an Obama defeat in November, what scares me more is that I think he is ready for it. I think he has his eyes on a bigger prize. Barry is thinking global – literally. While he is a puppet, the man does have charisma and he is worshipped in parts of the globe. He will pour everything into this campaign to ensure some prize at the end of the game. Whether it is the US Presidency or something relating to the UN, EU or whatever gets created to satisfy his ego, Obama will win in the end. There are far too many communists and socialists around the world that see him as a global leader. They will not view a reelection defeat as a reason to not have him work for global socialism in another capacity.

So while I believe Barry will depart 1600 Pennsylvannia Ave this year, it is his next address that concerns me.

Hopefully, we will find some grace in all of the pressure.

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