Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New EPA Regulation Invades Our Own Homes, Costing 10-15% or More

New EPA Regulation Invades Our Own Homes
Costing Home Owners 10 – 15% Or More On Their Home Repairs & Renovations

Just think how much more money victims of Hurricane Irene will have to dish out based on this new EPA Ruling - not to mention the increase in insurance premiums when all the added costs are factored in. Who knows when your area will be the next victim of a natural disaster that will require expensive repairs at this 15% increase in costs?

Once again the government, through all its oppressive regulations, will be costing taxpayers money they can't afford and invading our own homes and controlling what we can do with our own personal and real estate property. We don't really own anything if the federal government can control what we do with it. It is one thing to regulate businesses or entities that affect numbers of people or children (as bad as those EPA regulations are), but it is quite another thing to control what we do with our homes where we are not affecting anyone but ourselves. That's like telling people they can't have unhealthy food in their home, smoke in their own house even if they are the only person living there, or even control their own thermostat.

To explain, a friend of mine went to Lowe's to buy a $159 wood front door. From his understanding they were going to charge him $16.00 for an EPA inspection of some kind. Then there was another fee of 35.00 for something connected to EPA for a total of $51.00. By the time he bought the $159 door and had it installed, it was going to cost him about $300.00. He didn't buy the door but brought me the Lowe's "Detail Expectation Sheet" with the figures on it. Lowe's lost a sale and a customer was denied a service he needed because of an unnecessary EPA regulation.

I called the sales person listed on the paper work from Lowe's to get the details. The sales person told me that beginning this year a new EPA regulation required that any repair or renovation on a home built before 1978 required testing for lead before the work could be done (including replacing doors, windows, carpet, stoves, almost anything that would be an installation for a home, and even painting if any sanding or disturbance of the paint were involved). This sales Person told me the regulation started this year (2011) but it was really implemented April 23, 2010 according to the Press Release below. (Later I found a waiver for enforcement of this regulation until October 1, 2010) A whopping 80 percent of existing homes were built before 1980.

Workers will have to be certified as lead-safe by the EPA and wear special gear outfitted with air filters, goggles and hoods. Work sites will have to be protected with heavy plastic and cleaned thoroughly with special vacuums, with warning signs posted," is the way an AP story described the procedure. However, lead in paint had been reduced drastically or eliminated years before 1978. One article I read said, " The recommended amount of lead in domestic paint had declined from 50% before 1965, to 1% in 1965.
This regulation is designed more for control than for safety and is laying the groundwork for future controls in our own home. In 2008, "[P]owered by a wave of public outrage that transcended party lines, California citizens forced regulators at the California Energy Commission to abandon plans to control thermostat settings in private homes. Under the proposal, every new home and every renovated heating and air conditioning system would be required by law to include an FM receiver that would allow the Energy Commission to reset the thermostat to whatever temperature the agency desired during times of peak usage. So even if your home was built after 1978, there will be other forthcoming EPA rules in the future if we don't stop them now.

The Lowe's sales person said if there was lead in the area when they tested it, they had to build something "like a cocoon" (I later learned this is called containment) around it to keep the dust from escaping the area. The $16.00 fee at Lowe's was to cover the cost of that test for lead. Then there was another fee of $35.00 that had to be paid up front but would be given back if no lead was found in the area. When I asked the sales person how much that "cocoon thing" he talked about would cost he said he had no idea.

However, "The home builders group estimates that the new rule could cost between $500 and $1,500 for large projects costing more than $5,000." The EPA countered, "that additional expenses may be as low at $8 to $167. The $16.00 fee at Lowe's on a $159.00 door would be like an added 10% sales tax – and that is no estimate but real facts and lines up with the estimates by the home builders group. No surprise that the EPA would give such a low estimate since they described the procedure as "simple and effective lead-safe work practices." And this $16.00 fee does not include the other $35.00 required by Lowe's up front before they can even begin the test.
The sales person referred me to Lowe's Install Sales Department for more information about the EPA regulation. This Lowe's employee agreed with the information given me by the other sales person. He also said that Lowe's had agreed to Regulations that went beyond what was required by EPA (more about that later]. I asked if all the major stores were charging to have the area tested for lead before replacing a door, or other installations in homes built before 1978. He said yes, and that you might find an independent contractor that would do it without testing, but that contractor would be liable if he did not follow the EPA rules. He gave me the number to call the EPA hot line 1-800-424-LEAD or 1-800-424-5323.

This EPA worker (Kelly) said the regulation requires any contractor who renovates any part of the house built before 1978 that includes six square feet of the interior or 20 or more square feet of the exterior to either test for lead or treat the area as though there is lead there. The regulation also includes painting if any sanding or disturbance is done. This means they have to contain the area to make sure dust particles don't escape the area unless they first test for lead and find there is no lead there.

The EPA worker said Lowe's has gone beyond the required regulations. I asked her what that meant. She said Lowe's tests on EVERY job whether it covers 6 square feet or not in the interior and 20 square feet on the exterior or not. The $16.00 is not an EPA fee charged by EPA, she said. Evidently the $16.00 fee is Lowe's way of covering their cost for the test for lead. I asked her if Home Depot also went beyond required regulations, and she said yes they also were going beyond the regulations just as Lowe's does. She referred me to website for an article for more information on the EPA ruling.

As a practical business response, Lowe's and other companies probably have to test every area because that is cheaper than taking the added steps to contain the area they are working in as required by the EPA regulation if they don't test. This is another of those EPA regulations that hurt businesses (they will lose sales over this regulation) and cost the consumers - even during this economic crisis in our country. And who thought the EPA could ever come directly into our homes – property we own - and require such unnecessary regulations!

Following is a link to the Press Release on this Regulation. Note how EPA says in the press release: "This rule requires contractors to follow some simple and effective lead safe work practices to prevent children's exposure to dangerous levels of lead. Go to this link to see what is really required for this simple work practice. It takes 32 pages to explain all that is involved.

In essence this EPA rule involves added money for buyers (in some cases probably more than double), certification fees for contractors, installers and painters, change in policy of installation for retail businesses, record keeping by the contractors for 3 years after the project, clean up details, and disposal of waste, and on and on.

EPA Press Release on this regulation can be found at this link:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Martin Says No To Burkhalter Plans

A Clear View So Far

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced today his opposition to amending the Capitol Master Plan for construction that would block views of the State Capitol.

The proposed five-story building would be located at 1417 West Sixth Street.

Martin said, “As Secretary of State, I am charged with preserving and maintaining the Arkansas State Capitol. That means I have to follow that viewpoint, as guardian of the building, rather than pursue a political or commercial view.”

“If the Commission amends the rule entirely, without limitations, the Capitol becomes subject to ever-encroaching construction,” he continued, “but changing the rule specifically for one individual would be special legislation, which is generally frowned up.”

He added, “The Capitol is currently visible from many points throughout Little Rock, and I don’t believe any of those vantage points should be blocked.”

Martin pointed out that the Capitol is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Arkansas’s most attractive public buildings, receiving thousands of visitors each year.

“Because of the Capitol’s aesthetic appeal and historic significance, I believe it should retain its current visibility. I recommend that the Commission take no action,” he concluded.

The Capitol Zoning District Commission consists of delegates from the Secretary of State’s office, Governor’s office, city of Little Rock, area property owners and at-large members.


Developer John Burkhalter wanted an exception to the standing ordinance in order to construct a five story building in down town Little Rock. Burkhalter was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to the Highway Commission, and was a big Beebe donor (aren't most appointees to that thing big donors for someone or another?). Martin was under pressure by lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce to have his representative on the capital zoning commission allow for the exception.

In a humorous side note, crotchety leftist Max Brantley of the Arktimes floated a trial balloon suggesting that his efforts may have been a catalyst for Martin's refreshingly idealistic stand against insider efforts for a special favor. No Max, your shrill misinformation campaign against Martin is not what prompted him to make this idealistic and principled call. Those are the kinds of calls he regularly makes, because that is the kind of man that he is, your dishonest attempts to make him appear otherwise notwithstanding (the truth).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gibson CEO "We are being persecuted"

Gibson Guitars just had a federal SWAT team make it's second raid on the company. No charges were filed after the first raid, but the company has still not gotten its confiscated property back. They are not accused of any US crime. The raid was prompted by reports that Gibson used some kind of wood for their guitars that is against the law to use in Brazil! Fed stormtroopers are now coming into private businesses with guns for using wood that other countries don't want used! Even worse, Martin Guitar uses the same type of wood but is a big Democratic donor, and they don't get raided. Click the link for the outrageous back story.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Dem-Gaz's Duplicitous Jihad Against Mark Martin

Your humble blogger has had it with the Dem-Gaz trying to destroy an innocent man. If you want to know the real stories behind the fake stories on Martin in the DemGaz, then click here for this 30 minute audio.

Bam Pushing to Let Big Banks Get Away With Crimes

Even if you don't like to follow finaicial news much, please take the time to investigate this. Our politics won't matter, they will just be a show, if stuff like what follows goes through....

The banksters sold America and the world fraudulent securities and made hunderds of billions of dollars (if not more than a trillion) from this criminal activity. Basically they sold mortgage backed securities that they held out to be highly rated that were phony or already in default. Sometimes the same mortgage payment was sold in more than one batch of securities. Then they did not properly pay local governments the fee that the rest of us have to pay to transfer title, so they did not really transfer the underlying property attached to the securities.

This was a titantic wave of fraud and crime that dwarfs any finanical crime committed by any mafia family in American history. Still, The Resident is working out a way to let them off the hook for it. Since our dominant media is corporate and bankster controlled, we have to look to a magazine put out for dope smoking field hippies to find the truth on this matter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Limbaugh Guest Host Pressured to Attack Ron Paul

"You are trying to push me where I don't want to go."

The biggest objection he could come up with was "he can't win", this in the face of Gallup polling showing he is already withing the margin of error with Obama.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Evolutionist Study Supports Creationist Contentions

A favorite bait-and-switch tactic of proponents of evolution has been dealt a serious blow by a recent study conducted by evolutionists themselves.

Evolution, at least as the idea that all living things came from a common ancestor through natural descent, is broke. Unfortunately post-modern science has been high-jacked by the philosophy of naturalism and by government as its major funding source. This means that favored conclusions are those which give the ruling class moral permission to mess with their fellow men. That is to say the idea that man is a created being made in the image of God, and therefore endowed with unalienable rights, is rejected. The permitted hypothesis is that man evolved through a series of naturalistic steps shaped by chance and the environment. This moral framework justifies ruling class efforts to shape our environment in the belief they can make us into whatever they want us to be (as opposed to who we were Created to be).

I used to debate these naturalists posing as scientists. They would say that evolution was an "established fact" that is "happening all around us." The examples they would give involved tiny changes in things like coloration. The examples represented a shuffling of existing genetic information rather than novel new traits emerging. I always argued that this was merely microevolution, and as long as new novel traits were not emerging that it was different from true, or macroevolution.

They would answer that there was no such thing as "macroevolutin" or "microevolution", only evolution. Their claim was that large scale evolution was simply a continuation of small scale evolution over a longer time frame.

At last evolutionists themselves (the only ones to get funding to conduct studies in our current government-model for science advancement) performed a study on the question. It turns out that there is a difference between fast-acting mircoevolution and longer term evolution that really changes a species. They did not use the terms "microevolution", but their conclusion was exactly what creationists have been maintaining all along.

"Rapid evolution is clearly a reality over fairly short time periods, sometimes just a few generations," said Josef Uyeda, lead author of the study and a zoologist at Oregon State University. "But those rapid changes do not always persist and may be confined to small populations. For reasons that are not completely clear, the data show the long-term dynamics of evolution to be quite slow."

Across a broad range of species, the research found that for a major change to persist and for changes to accumulate, it took about one million years. The researchers wrote that this occurred repeatedly in a "remarkably consistent pattern."

In other words, the permanent changes took place over too long a time scale for us to observe in the act. We must take it on faith, in them, that the series of bones they string together over a million years of time really represent one animal evolving into another kind. The "remarkably consistent pattern" of one million years whether one is talking about critters with the life cycle of a mouse or of a whale, is better explained by observers of fossils putting their own interpretation on the data than some sort of principle of evolution.

The bait and switch tactic of pointing to some microevolutionary change amongst the coloration of a moth species and then using that as “proof” that jellyfish, T-Rexes, and people have a common ancestor has been dealt a blow. Microevolution exists, but it does not say much about how, or even if, macroevoltion occurs

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Christian Right and Rick Perry

Perry at "The Response" : Glorifying God?
For the record, the leaders of today's Christian Right have a miserable track record of political "ministry" by any metric, except that of giving themselves continued access to the smaller and smaller circle of Republican big-wigs who will still pretend to listen to them.

This is not to say some of them are not doing good work, it's just not in the area of backing candidates for office who will really deliver on the right issues. Maybe it comes from a shallow understanding of how to apply the scriptures to government (though even they do not err so badly as the religious left does). I don't know. I just know they have backed the wrong horses for a long time and gotten little to show for it. Since they don't seem willing to learn from their outrageous blunders, perhaps its time they stepped aside and saved the Christian community on the right the embarrassment of being in the same philosophical ship they ride.

Consider the American Family Association. They are a great work. I have the highest repsect for Dr. Wildmon and what he has done outside of politics. I used to be a member. I went to one of their confabs in D.C. They are great at boycotts. They have some fine radio programming that is often right on the issues. They are miserable at picking politicans to back. In Arkansas, their own state associate tried to tell them the truth about Mike Huckabee. They wound up disaffiliating their own state associate (who had been laboring for years) in order to prop up the Huckster. I think most of the nation blames them in part for foisting on us the disaster that was the Bush administration.

Now they are about to do it again. It's clear that, though they won't come right out and say so, that they want Rick Perry, the tough-talking Texas Governor, to be the Republican nominee for President. They even had a high-profile public prayer event which prominently featured Perry so that he could "out-christian" the rest of the field. And many of the flock are lapping it up, figuring if Perry is the guy leading the prayers in the stadium surrounded by the preachers that got us into this political mess then he must be the guy that Christians are supposed to back.

I find that very sad that our Christian leaders are so defiantly opposed to the direct teachings of the Lord Jesus Himself. Matthew Chapter 6 "1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven......... 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

While I don't think they understand what the Scriptures say about the role of government, there is no missing the intent of this passage of scripture. In light of this, their actions surrounding "The Response" can only come from willful disregard of Christ's teachings in order to advance a political goal. No lasting good will come from that.

I really believe that they mistakenly think that the Christian position is that the central government should have the role of punishing people for anything that God disapproves of. Thus left and right are fighting for control of a virtually unlimited central government so that they can impose their wishes on the populace. The populace is understandably uncomfortable with both visions for their future.

The Scriptures show that God does not think much of a strong central government (1st Samuel Chapter 8). When the people tried to make Jesus just such a political King, He went and hid Himself, preferring a Kingship won one heart at a time and submission to His moral code on a voluntary basis. While in Romans we learn that Government does have a God-appointed role of bringing wrath on evil-doers, the whole scope of scripture shows us that just because He disapproves of something does not mean that He wants the central government to punish people for doing it. This is true even in the Law which none of us can keep, how much more then since grace has fulfilled that Law?

The Higher Education Bubble

Lindsey Millar of the lefty Arktimes has a piece which asks the question "is higher education a bubble soon to burst?" While I am glad to see them asking the question, readers of Arkansas Watch know that we have been talking about this for a long time from a public policy perspective.

For most young people today, all they are going to get from the deal is years of lost income, piles of student debt, some bad habits, and at the end of it the same kind of job they would have gotten if they had never spent a day in college. In this state, only a minority of freshmen will obtain a degree, but even for the ones who do, the appropriate jobs are not available.

Not made clear in the article: Tuition increases are made possible by an influx of student loan money and finnacial aide from the feds. The most indebted institution in human history, the federal government of the United States, is pumping this bubble up. How much longer can that last?

Higher education is in a bubble. One in the process of bursting as more people realize what a bad investment it is. It's nuts for a young person to start out life with $20,000 of student loan debt only to take the same kind of job they could have gotten three years earlier. We get it. The Arktimes is starting to get it. Now if only our own state legislature can get it. Unfortunately, they seem to be in a bubble themselves, an alternate reality where "economic growth" is obtained by sucking ever more dollars out of a collapsing private economy in order to lavish on "higher education."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jon Stewart Rips Media for Ron-Paul-Denial Syndrome

Vote Ron Paul for President- just to see the looks on their faces.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sales Tax Holiday a Hit

Congratulations to El Dorado Rep. Matthew Shepard (R), the primary house sponsor of the bill to grant a sales tax holliday to Arkansans. By all accounts, businesses under the purview of the tax break had an amazing amount of revenue.

Governor Mike Beebe had groused that the tax cut would "cost" the state two million dollars, but it seems like state businesses made many times that amount in extra profits. Beebe's real complaint is not that the state would lose money, but that state government would lose it. I doubt his static calculations considered people from border areas who shopped in state rather than went out of state to do back to school shopping, or the increased tax revenues that come from merchants making more profits.

Friday, August 12, 2011

It's All About Stopping the Outsiders

Because of citizen outrage at the way the insiders have looted the country, two legitimate outsiders are gaining traction. The insiders will go to extreme measures to prevent either of these two people from ever becoming President of the United States. They are Michelle Bachman and Ron Paul. Much of what is happening in this campaign that is otherwise inexplicable is explained by this fact.

Mitt Romney is the man that the establishment wants to be the Republican nominee. The grassroots mostly know that Romney is not their guy. The establishment is using various stratigies to impose him on us anyway.

One of the most common techniques they will use in a primary to stop outsiders is "bracketing." That is, they will run another candidate(s) (a shadow) that is liable to sap votes from the outsider to prevent them from getting traction. The other candidate is usually not even trying to get elected to the office they are running for, but has been promised some other reward (such as a cabinet position).
What follows is speculation, but is my explanation for some otherwise hard to explain moves. See if you think it fits....

Tim Pawlenty is in this to shadow Michelle Bachman. He is from the same state, so he splits her geographic base. He is also investing the highest proportion of his resources in Iowa, where she hopes for a springboard (she does not have the monetary staying-power of Romney, so she has to do well early). He is also attacking her even when it hurts him more than it does her. His suicidal attacks in the debate last night only make sense if he is in the race to stop Bachman more than elect Pawlenty.

Rick Santorum is in this to shadow Ron Paul. Paul was born in Pennslyvania, grew up there, and went to college there. He has deep roots in the state. Santorum has an even weaker hand than Pawlenty. He is not in this to win the nomination for President. Much like when Santorum sold out the conservatives to endorse Arlen Spector (who then switched to Democrat) over Pat Toomey, Santorum has made a deal with the establishment to keep Paul from winning big in PA. He also tried to dog Paul in the debate last night, but with little success.

Ron Paul was also leading in polls of the massive GOP state of Texas, even over Perry. When you look at where Paul could win, Texas, Pennslyvania, Kentucky, and many western states, it represented a serious threat. A nightmare scenario for the establishment would be for Bachman to win some of the midwest and much of the south, Paul to win the areas listed for him, and Romney only winning in the northeast and Mormon country. That equals a brokered convention with outsiders in the drivers seat.

I think they saw this scenario coming and decided to tap Rick Perry as the faux-outsider who can cover the south including Texas for them. While Perry is a terrible match up against Obama- Southern conservatives tend to like him but his crossover appeal in the rest of the country is practically zilch- he is perfect for the role of shadow for Paul in Texas and for Bachman among much of the rest of the south.

What has he been offered in return? Possibly the VP slot. He could serve the roll of Sarah Palin in 08, appeasing conservatives mad at a moderate nominee for President with someone they consider one of their own as VP.

In this scenario, instead of going into convention with Bachman and Paul holding more total delegates than Romney, they can cut into their delegate totals such that the Romney-Perry axis would have more delegates than a potential outsider alliance. This is why I think that a vote for Rick Perry is a vote for Mitt Romney. Those who don't believe Perry would get behind the liberal Romney should consider that Rick Perry endorsed Rudy Guiliani in 2008.

Meeks to Kick-Off Campaign in New District

Conway, AR – Arkansas State Representative David Meeks will formally launch his bid for reelection on Tuesday, August 16th at Colton’s Steakhouse in Conway.

“Central Arkansas is a special place for me and my family,” Meeks said. “It is where I met and married my spouse, built the closest friendships, and started a trek towards working for a greater Arkansas.”

Meeks, 39 and almost three years married to Naomi McGee Meeks, will now run to represent House District 70 due to the lines drawn in Arkansas’ newly redistricted map.

This past legislative session, he represented District 46 and was named Arkansas’ Best Legislator for his work.

Mark Moore of Arkansas Watch explained their decision to name Meeks as the number one representative on a bi-partisan list of top ten: “What sets David Meeks apart is an attitude of service…His style does not display the smallest trace of self-promotion. He does the right thing, for the right reason. He communicates with the grassroots better than probably any other legislator…Meeks is true to his name. He has not a trace of haughtiness as he keeps the common people informed. He even deals with criticism with grace and discretion. That means he has the tools needed to get even better. Meeks listens to us, and there are some other legislators who ought to listen to him.”

Meeks has vowed to return to the state house and fight for the issues he has always stood for.

“I will continue to fight for a stronger economy and against negative influences on small businesses and job creators in Arkansas,” said Meeks. “This means less excessive regulation and more tax breaks for the hard-working citizens of our state.

“Most relevant to this area, I will continue to fight against any severance tax increase and will work to prevent Arkansans from being forced to purchase government-based health insurance—something I pushed for in the Healthcare Freedom Act this past session.

“Each day that I served in the Arkansas State House, I considered it an honor to work on behalf of the good people of Conway, and I humbly ask for their support in allowing me to return.”

The public is invited to celebrate Meeks’ kickoff on Tuesday, August 16th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Colton’s Steakhouse located at 120 East Oak St in Conway.


Princella D. Smith

American Pride Strategies, LLC

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Consent of the Governed

This nation was founded on the principle that governments derive all of their just powers from "the consent of the governed." Well, that's pretty awkward, because our federal government no longer has that consent. According to a recent Rasmussen poll only 17% of the voters feel that the federal government has "the consent of the governed." 69% say that the federal government does not have the consent of the governed. 14% are unsure whether or not the federal government has such consent.

If the Declaration of Independence was right, since it no longer has our consent, the Federal Government has lost its "just powers" over the governed, just as King George III had. Unfortunately, though they may have lost their "just" powers over us, they still exercise power. In fact they are assuming more power and control over us every day. I see an inverse relationship between the legitimacy of Washington and it's presumption of power. The less legitimate it is in the heartland, the more power and authority it assumes over our lives. They may not have any just powers left, but they more than make up for it by assuming increasing quantitites of unjust powers.

Seventeen percent is an abysmal number, but not the lowest one FEDGOV receieved in the poll. When asked the question "Do you think Congressmen listen more to their constituents or to their party bosses?" An astoundingly low eight percent (8%!) thought that Congressmen listened more to their constituents than they did to their party bosses. Eighty-four percent (84%) think the average congressman listens to party leaders more than the voters they represent. Can you think of any other issue of import on which such a high percentage of voters agree?

I congratulate Rasmussen for asking the right questions. The voters know, perhaps more clearly than ever before, what the true problem is with this nation's government. It's simply this: we have an elaborate illusion of self-government, not true self-government. In reality it has been short-circuited because in order to move up through the system, office-holders have to please a party apparatus. The two political parties are private clubs which have their own elaborate rules that block efforts at true reform. The people who run it now have measures in place to make sure that other people like them keep running it.

Jesus Christ proclaimed that "no man can serve two Masters." He wasn't wrong about that. Yet because of the party system, our Congressmen are put into precisely that position. Christ warned that people put in such a position would "love one and hate the other." Increasingly, that is what we see. The people that move up in the system are ones that love the party leaders and forsake the grassroots (while pretending not to for as long as they can get away with it). That's what the voters are seeing when they say only 8% listen to their constituents more than the party leaders.

Unfortunately, grassroots activists are too often among the last group of Americans willing to face the hard truths outlined in the three paragraphs above. The whole country knows it, but many activists don't. They are the last ones to see it because once they become activists, the system of whichever party they favor sends envoys to charm them. I don't have a problem with that, so long as the envoys sincerely mean to implement policies which the activists favor. What I do have a problem with is deceit. I have a problem with the use of personal charm to coax the activists into supporting them when they have no intention of pursuing polices the activists wanted.

I have seen too many people who got into activism waking up ten years later and realizing that while they may get invited to some luncheons, they have spent their years advocating for candidates who are never really going to do what they wanted done. Those candidates are throwing the bones of empty words and symbolic gestures to the activists, but leaving the meat of public policy to the party leaders, who in turn are serving giant (international rather than American) corporate donors. No wonder we are rushing headlong into globalism without the consent, or even at this point the knowledge, of most citizens.

But I am not going to just define the problem, though that is an essential foundation for discovering the right solution. I want to offer the solution as well, for those who have the courage to accpet it. It is contained in this 27 minute audio. For those who are in this to associate with public officials and get an adrenal rush at rallies, that is too long. For those actually interested in changing things for the better, it is a reasonable first step.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Rick Perry Bends it Like Beebe on Slush Fund

Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has a lot more in common with Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe than you might think. I am not talking about the fact that they have both endorsed Al Gore for President. The political winds in Texas shifted dramatically towards the Republicans after that, and Perry shifted with them right into the Governor's office. (Editors note: I originally said he backed Gore over Bush, but that was an error. He was Gore's Texas Chairman in the primaries. He actually switched to the GOP during that campaign and endorsed Bush in the General election) Perry endorsed former N.Y. Mayor Rudy Guiliani early in the 2008 campaign. I guess Sen. John McCain was too conservative for him.

But just because labels change does not mean that policies change. In Arkansas, we are very familiar with Governor Mike Beebe's "quick action closing fund." The idea is for the Governor to have a pool of money he can use to lure business into the state by offering them taxpayer money to locate here. In other words, taxing us all, including other businesses, so that the governor can pick winners and losers.

Well, it turns out that Rick Perry also has such a 'deal closing' fund. There it is called the TEF (Texas Enterprise Fund), but its the same thing that we have here. t is even referred to with similar names; "action fund, closing fund, slush fund." And get this, the largest recipient of the fund in Texas was Hewlett Packard. The largest recipient of the fund in Arkansas so far? Hewlett Packard!

There are a lot of dots here that I do not have time to connect, but according to this article in New American, their fund is experiencing just the kind of abuse I warned about for the one in Arkansas. Taxpayer money from the Governor's fund is going to companies who then turn around and donate a significant fraction of that money back to Governor Perry- sometimes after funneling it through the Republican Governor's Association. Money is being taken from local businesses and is used to fund a big-name competitor that opens up down the street. Please read the article for more information.

Like Beebe, Perry has fought to keep his slush fund budgeted, even in the face of government shortfalls to critical programs. I objected to the whole concept of the "quick action closing fund" when Beebe used it, and I object to it when Perry uses it. Tough talk and showy prayer meetings (didn't Jesus say that when you pray you should go to your innermost room and shut the door behind you?) present a certain image that appeals to my conservative instincts. But I don't evaluate political leaders by how charming they are, or how good their hair is, or by the image their consultants carefully craft for them. I evaluate them by their policies, as all adults should. On that basis, when Perry has the same operational view of government and business as Mike Beebe, I rate him a 'fail'.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Obama's EPA Regulations Attack Farmers

Obama's EPA Attacking Farmers - Documentation & Quotes: Obama's EPA Regulations based on Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development are destroying businesses and depriving citizens of necessities across the nation. Unfortunately the Debt Ceiling debate was providing cover while some of these regulations were being implemented. It is not enough that our government is taking a major food staple, corn, and converting it into an alternate fuel , and exploiting us with skyrocketing electricity prices - both of which increase the price of groceries exponentially; but now they are going to starve us through directly regulating agriculture. Please refer to blog just below this one or to this link for first part of this article:

Obama's EPA Attacking Farmers - Documentation and Quotes: "On Monday, the American Farm Bureau Federation and other groups presented oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's National Ambient Air Quality Standards on particulate matter under the Clean Air Act. AFBF, the National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen's Beef Association provided additional argument and answered questions about their claim that EPA does not have legal authority to regulate agriculture dust in the Clean Air Act." cant/regulate/ag/dust/8/19340

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) To Bring Farm Equipment Under Their Guidelines Farmers To Keep Logs like Truck Drivers US Department of Transportation (USDOT) News Releases, July 21, 2011 "A key principle of the Obama Administration is that the best public policy comes from bringing the most people to the table. Although USDOT doesn't have a long history of working with the agricultural community, it's time we rolled up our sleeves together and got started." Source: USDOT News Release, July 21, 2011

"Today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with farmers and ranchers in Iowa to discuss EPA and USDA’s joint efforts to ensure that American agriculture continues to be productive... “Agriculture is part of the foundation of the American economy. EPA’s mission to safeguard clean air, clear water and productive land is a critical part of sustaining farming jobs and productivity, and it’s vital that we communicate and work together on these issues we share.” fb69d/bc8057680bbf2be7852578770072ce12!OpenDocument

These quotes fit the saying, "We are the government and we are here to help" - just like they helped with the gas prices, the skyrocketing electricity, the job market, and other governmental controlled endeavors. Here’s a look at some of the things the federal government has proposed "to help" the farmers according to an article from Pennsylvania:

– Age restrictions: No one under the age of 18 will be able to drive a farm vehicle, including implements, with a combined weight of more than 17,000 pounds. [Even on the family's private property. This will be very expensive for the small farmers who will have to pay adult wages for one or more employees to take the place of young men who are operating farm vehicles. Some farmers will not even be able to survive with these additional costs.

– Driver’s logs: Drivers will be subject to similar hours of service as trucking companies. Those standards include break time and keeping a log of driver’s activity. [Such as truck drivers have to keep farmers will spend valuable time doing paper work.]

– Medical certification: Drivers must receive a valid medical certificate to determine if they are physically qualified to drive. Drivers of farm vehicles weighing more than 17,000 pounds will also need a certification whenever the truck is operated more than 150 miles from the farm. [Logs would have to be kept to determine this]

– Vehicle inspection: Farmers will be required to conduct pre-trip inspections and complete written post-trip safety reports. "The move by the DOT appears to be “legislation through regulation.” By reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Vehicles, the federal government will now be able to claim regulatory control over the estimated 800,000 farm workers in America, at the same time, overriding the rights of the states.

"The Hancock Journal-Pilot covered the story: Earlier this year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) began to define crop-share tenant farmers as “for-hire“ carriers and implements of husbandry as ”commercial motor vehicles.“ The ”for-hire” designation for crop-share tenant farmers would have a dramatic effect on farmers because it voids exemptions from the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program and would require a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage for the farmer."

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Opposes DOT Changes Regarding Farm Trucks:

Note: The EPA Regulations are based on so called "global warming" and based in Agenda 21, and Sustainable Development. Agenda 21 is a United Nations plan of action produced by the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Following are some links that explain Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. - Tea Parties Cannot Win Back The Republic Without This Information

Part 1 - America is drowning in a sea of rules and regulations, particularly under the guise of “saving the environment.”

Part 2 - Perhaps the most egregious action item offered in the Urban Environmental Accords dealt with the topic of water. Action item number 19 called for adoption and implementation of a policy to reduce individual water consumption.

Obama's EPA Regs Destroying Economy & Depriving Citizens of Necessities

This Issue Is As Important As The Debt Ceiling & Is Getting No Media Attention

Below is a E-Newsletter sent out by US Senator Roger Wicker that gives some background on this issue and a letter to the editor on the subject of depriving Citizens of Necessities.

Roger Wicker
US Senator For The State Of Mississippi
E – Newsletter

EPA’s Attempt to Side-Step Congress
Since President Obama took office, the federal government has expanded at an alarming rate. The failed stimulus and Obamacare are two prime examples, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also been at the forefront of this effort. The EPA’s proposed policies could lead to higher energy and food costs for all Americans and stifle economic opportunity at a time when we should be promoting job creation.

Preventing a New Energy Tax
During the last Congress, environmentalists proposed a tax on carbon known as cap and trade to force Americans to use less energy. Because electricity rates would have soared, I helped block efforts to impose this tax. Now, the EPA wants to expand existing regulations and create new barriers for domestic energy through administrative rules that would side-step Congressional action. These rules amount to a backdoor cap and trade scheme.

Higher electricity rates impact families and businesses alike. These costs would put U.S. workers at a disadvantage to our overseas competitors who are not subjected to the same energy costs and government regulations. The level of federal overreach by the EPA is unprecedented in scope and takes no consideration of how these newly imposed requirements will impact jobs and the American economy.

Clean Water Act Abuse
In addition to energy oversight, the EPA is also seeking greater jurisdiction over waterways around the country. The agency wants to classify small waterways and drainage ditches on farmland as “navigable waters,” so it could regulate them. I recently joined other Senators in writing to the EPA Administrator questioning the agency’s new interpretation of the Clean Water Act. This change, we wrote, “will significantly expand federal control of private lands.” This unnecessary expansion takes power away from states and could lead to an increase in litigation for families and businesses.

Other Attempts at Overreach
The EPA has also threatened to begin regulating dust generated by farming. Farmers and ranchers would be forced to limit the effect of dust created by their agricultural production, and communities could be required to pave or treat dirt roads. Mississippi’s farmers are already struggling with rising prices for fuel, feed, and fertilizer. Unnecessary EPA regulations threaten to send costs even higher. [See Documentation and quotes on the attack on farmers below]

Unfortunately, the EPA is not the only part of the Obama Administration promoting more government involvement. The President’s nominee for Commerce Secretary, John Bryson, has advocated the national cap and trade energy tax and larger federal role for industries. The primary mission of the Commerce Department is to create jobs, but Mr. Bryson’s ideas could have the opposite effect by adding burdensome red tape in this already fragile economy.

Limiting the Administration
To help stop this overreach, I have co-sponsored the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Congress and the President to approve all new major rules before they can be enforced. Major rules would be those that have an annual economic impact of $100 million or more. Last year, 100 such rules were finalized by the Executive Branch without Congressional oversight. Preventing unnecessary and burdensome regulations from going into effect is an important start to reining in the EPA and the rest of the Administration. I will continue to oppose the dramatic expansion of power for the Executive Branch and work to repeal much of what has already been imposed. (End of Wicker's E-Newsletter)

Obama's EPA Regulations based on Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development are destroying businesses and depriving citizens of necessities across the nation. Unfortunately the Debt Ceiling debate was providing cover while some of these regulations were being implemented. Below is a letter to the editor I wrote that was published August 3 in the Democrat Gazette (but with key elements of the letter I sent in omitted) that is typical of numerous regulations. It is not enough that our government is taking a major food staple, corn, and converting it into an alternate fuel , and exploiting us with skyrocketing electricity prices - both of which increase the price of groceries exponentially; but now they are going to starve us through directly regulating agriculture.

Letter to Editor
Two headlines recently caught my attention: "Hundreds endure heat for help in paying electricity bills" and "EPA tells coal-fired plants: Reduce pollution or shut down." While thousands across the nation are suffering triple digit degree weather, many with utility bills already shut off; Obama is busy increasing the price of electricity.

American Electric Company in Ohio reported: "Because of the unrealistic compliance timelines in the EPA proposals, we will have to prematurely shut down nearly 25 percent of our current coal-fueled generating capacity cut hundreds of good power plant jobs [600 with annual wages totaling approximately $40 million], and invest billions of dollars [$6 to $8 billion] in capital to retire, retrofit and replace coal-fueled power plants…said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman."

Remember Obama said, "Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." Obama is governing by the motto "Never waste a crisis." Higher electricity prices are a hidden tax that promote Obama's plan of redistribution of wealth since some of us will pay for our own higher electricity bills while also paying taxes to pay for those who can't afford them.

Hillary Clinton said in 2009 (on You Tube) at the European Parliament: "I'm actually excited by this opportunity [the economic crisis] . but the chief of staff for President Obama is an old friend of mine …he said, you know, never waste a good crisis, and when it comes to the economic crisis don't waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security."

And the Democrats claim to be the party of the poor. Debbie Pelley

For Documentation and Quotes on the EPA's attack on farmers see this link: or see the other post above.

The Military Industrial Complex Wants Your Social Security Money

President General Dwight Eisenhower warned us years ago that we should beware the influence of the growing Military-Industrial Complex. They lobby for more federal money regardless of the actual security needs of the nation. And with resources getting tighter, there is only so many places that money can come from.

With just using more debt no longer an option, politicians are being forced to take sides. Increasingly, they are siding with the MIC over Social Security. You can't get more establishment than former Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Liberman. Liberman spoke at the Republican national convention. There is a long back-story there, but the point is that Lieberman is well-connected in both political gangs which have seized our government from the people. Here he is saying that we need to cut social security in order to keep military funding high.

The establishment wants my grandmother's social security check to fund their global interventions. But Social security is the one program that is actually fully funded. The people who are getting the benefits for the most part are those that paid into the system for years. In fact, there is a 1.7 trillion dollar trust fund built up from extra payments. Of course, the politicians stole all of that money in that trust fund, and spent it on current operations. There is nothing in that fund now but a bunch of IOUs that can only be paid back if taxes are raised. In other words we are forced to pay again for what we already paid for the first time. If a private employer did that with his retired employee's pension funds he would be sent to prison, and rightly so.

Look, I don't think a mandatory federal SS program is constitutional. I would like to see it all transferred to the states in the hopes that at least some of them would not steal all the money in the "trust fund" as the politicians from both parties in Washington D.C. have done. I know that as people live longer we can't keep retiring at 67 (or younger). But I am dead set against the Military Industrial Complex getting their claws on one penny of Social Security money, or reducing benefits to the elderly who paid in for decades. Social Security may be an entitlement program, but its not a welfare program. It is a mandatory social insurance program. The government made people pay in the premiums, they should not be permitted to reneg on the payouts.

Unfortunately, the Republican Presidential candidates are mostly beholden to the Military Industrial Complex. I only see one candidate among them that will make protecting Senior's social security benefits a higher priority than funding the military industrial complex. His name is Ron Paul.

Monday, August 01, 2011

"The Deal": Unmitigated Disaster, Mixed With Betrayal and Ignorance

The "deal" worked out to raise the debt limit by a record amount is an unmitigated disaster for America. We had the big-spenders over a barrel, but let them get away. Tragically, all the Republican Congressmen had to do to save America was keep their word to the people who elected them. Only 22 had the grit and wisdom to vote against the Boehner plan which was the beginning of the end for fiscal responsibility. This deal is worse.

The debt will be raised by a record $2.4 Trillion dollars between now and the next election. The total "cuts" between now and then? There are no "cuts", just a deceleration on the increase in spending. Today Rush Limbaugh said that the way the CBO scores budgets there is a built-in increase every year. He noted that spending the exact same amount as we spent last year for the next ten years would be called a $9.5 trillion "cut" in CBO Washington-Speak. This plan, with it's $2.4 trillion in "cuts", would actually put us $7 trillion dollars more in debt than simply holding spending the same (the same spending level which currently gives us a 1.4 trillion dollar annual deficit). There are no cuts. The rate of growth in spending is very slightly restrained.

How slightly? $63 billion less growth than originally planned for the next two years. That is, for every dollar of decelerated spending (not cuts) we are going to borrow over $38 new dollars of debt. 38 to 1!

Almost all of the "cuts" they speak of, which they claim will "save" $2.4 trillion, are "back-loaded." That is, they occur years down the road and therefore mean nothing. No Congress can commit a future Congress to a given course of action. The only cuts that matter are those made in the next year or two, and not only were no cuts made, but the deceleration of spending was a trivial amount compared to the amount of new debt this deal will load on our backs.

In addition, the Bush Tax cuts will be up for renewal just as we will bump up against the new debt ceiling two years hence. It gives the destroyers (because debt is slavery) a perfect escape hatch. The solution then will not be to follow up on any painful "cuts", but rather to allow these taxes on "the rich" to expire. In other words, they will raise tax rates!

I don't even have time to go into the problems with the twelve member "super Congress" of insiders who have been given the extra-constitutional power to determine where the mythical future decelerated increases will come from.

All the GOP House had to do was stand firm. It did not matter that we had control of only one branch of government, it was the branch from which all funding bills must originate. There was no danger of "default". This was establishment media disinformation. Current revenues are sufficient to pay for interest on the debt, social security, medicare, and defense, plus or minus a few percent. All that would have happened is a partial government shut down until they learned to live within their means, just like all of the rest of us that they are loading down with this debt have to do. What they would not have been able to do is fund their special interests and meddlesome programs that they have no Constitutional authority to fund in the first place.

Each and every one of Arkansas' representatives have indicated they will vote for this travesty, as they voted for the Boehner cave. If they do, I say this: Some of you may know some of them. Maybe you worked to get them elected. Maybe they have you charmed. It's time to get beyond that. I will be blunt, as I always am. If you ever vote for any of these men again, you are part of the problem.

You and your friends, Be Your Own Party.