Sunday, April 25, 2010

Free speech is not guaranteed by the 1st Amendment...

April 25, 2010
Colorado, USA

Excellent article!

Progressives in America
by Josie Wales
April 21, 2010

Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to the United States of America in 1831 on assignment from the French government to study the American prison system. One result of those travels was a rather prophetic study of American society, “Democracy in America.” The study consists of two volumes. The first considers American political society, and the second considers American civil society. The entire study is a must read, but my focus is on one of the last chapters.

What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear

It would seem that, if despotism were to be established amongst the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them.

Soft Tyranny

In essence, the sort of despotism we might find in America today would not be of the sort found in ancient Rome or imperial Russia. The tyrants exercising that sort of despotism were confined to tyranny upon the ruling classes. The vast majority of people would have been unaffected by the actions of one tyrant to another because they were not a source of power. Democracies derive their power from the people, which means despotism cannot exist openly, but that it also affects more people. It becomes “soft despotism,” operating both in the name, and at the expense, of the people.

For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritance: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?

If that statement does not describe the progressive-statist agenda, I do not know what does. Ever since the progressive movement began its push for social engineering funded by income taxation, government has extended its tendrils into every aspect of our lives. Bit by bit, the administrative state has expanded its grasp over the last century. And all of this has culminated in socialized medicine: government regulation over our very lives.

An association for political, commercial, or manufacturing purposes, or even for those of science and literature, is a powerful and enlightened member of the community, which cannot be disposed of at pleasure, or oppressed without remonstrance; and which, by defending its own rights against the encroachments of the government, saves the common liberties of the country.

This does not mean organizations like ACORN, Project Vote or the Secretary of State Project. These groups work for the expansion of government at the expense of liberty by promising false prosperity to the less fortunate in exchange for a vote. Instead, think Tea Party or Citizens United (2010). If anything, organizations that align themselves too closely to government should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Think “too big to fail” or SEIU.

It is therefore most especially in the present democratic times, that the true friends of the liberty and the greatness of man ought constantly to be on the alert, to prevent the power of government from lightly sacrificing the private rights of individuals to the general executions of its designs.

We were caught sleeping at the wheel. During President George W. Bush’s administration, the rhetoric of the progressives espoused the ideas presented in the previous quote. But rhetoric is merely the art of communication, and is separate from the critical thinking involved with logic. Many Americans, lulled to sleep by the “soft despotism” of the administrative state, assumed they were acting in the interest of liberty by electing the likes of President Barack H. Obama, and believed “transformative democracy” was a way to re-establish alleged liberties lost.

It is ever to be feared that revolutionary tendencies, becoming more gentle and more regular, without entirely disappearing from society, will be gradually transformed into habits of subjection to the administrative authority of the government.

Our rights exist outside of the government, or rather, the government is not the guarantor of our rights. As I have argued before, the right to free speech is not guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, but rather, the 1st Amendment precludes government intervention in our pre-existing right to free speech. The 9th Amendment reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people” (emphasis added). The message of “transformative democracy” championed by progressives represents the gentle revolution of subjugation for which de Tocqueville forewarns.

I have sought to point out the dangers to which the principle of equality exposes the independence of man, because I firmly believe that these dangers are the most formidable, as well as the least foreseen, of all those which futurity holds in store; but I do not think they are insurmountable.

And they are not!

Americans are re-awakening to the promises of liberty established and promoted from the founding of our nation.

I close with the final sentence of “Democracy in America”:

The nations of our time cannot prevent the conditions of men from becoming equal; but it depends upon themselves whether the principle of equality is to lead them to servitude or freedom, to knowledge or barbarism, to prosperity or wretchedness.

Source: Breitbart.com, Progressives in America

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The mantra is freedom...

April 24, 2010
Colorado, USA

Book excerpt:

The Founders did not give us a perfect system of government, but they did give us one that they intended would keep power diffused between the states and the federal government and further diffused within the federal government itself. And they gave us a document that recognized that our rights are natural, that is, they come from our humanity, thus from our Creator, not from the government. Ronald Reagan reminded us many times that we have the power to begin the world anew. I agree -- we should start with a government faithful to the Constitution, one whose mantra is freedom, not safety, one that acknowledges that the government is the servant, not the master.

The Constitution, as Justice Felix Frankfurter reminded his colleagues from time to time, was not written in order to right every wrong. It was not written to allow every federal do-gooder and busybody to impose his notion of clean living, safe working, or pure thinking on individuals. it was written to keep governmental power diffused, to restrain the government from interfering with the Natural Law, toward one solitary goal: the freedom of the individual to pursue happiness.
----------------------
Note: This book (see source) is an eye-opener. I recommend this eye-opening and sometimes alarming read...

Source: The Constitution in Exile - How the Federal Government has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land, Judge Andrew P Napolitano, © 2006

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tea parties fight Obama's culture of dependence

April 23, 2010
Colorado, USA

"Do you realize," CNN's Susan Roesgen asked a man at the April 15, 2009, tea party in Chicago, "that you're eligible for a $400 credit?" When the man refused to drop his "drop socialism" sign, she went on, "Did you know that the state of Lincoln gets fifty billion out of the stimulus?"

Roesgen is no longer with CNN, and CNN has only about half as many viewers as it did last year. But her questions are revealing. They help us understand that the issue on which our politics has become centered -- the Obama Democrats' vast expansion of the size and scope of government -- is really not just about economics. It is really a battle about culture, a battle between the culture of dependence and the culture of independence.

Source: Washington Examiner,Tea parties fight Obama's culture of dependence

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Free Speech - a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth

April 22, 2010
Colorado, USA

Sometimes preserving a freedom is downright painful...

[snip] In what's being called a resounding victory for free speech, the U.S. Supreme Court in an 8-1 ruling overturned the conviction of a Virginia man who was sentenced to three years in prison for creating several videos that included scenes of dog fighting. Robert Stevens was found guilty under a federal statute that prohibits the creation, sale or possession of "a depictor of animal cruelty" with "the intention of placing the depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain." The court, however, struck down the law, saying it "created a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth."

Source: Publisher's Weekly, Supreme Court Hands Down Major Free Speech Ruling: "In what's being called a resounding victory for free speech, the U.S. Sup..."

Earth Day 2010

April 22, 2010
Colorado USA

Remember this?

I'd like to buy the world a home and furnish it with love,
Grow apple trees and honey bees, and snow white turtle doves.
I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony,
I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.

Coming of age in the late hippy-sixties and early chaotic seventies (the first earth day was in 1970), for a brief time, I admired this whole live and let live ideology, saw the world through those proverbial rose-colored glasses. It was peace, love, flower power and little yellow smiley-faces.

smiley Then, I grew up....

Then I realized live and let live was more like give and give and give with little reciprocity. Then the government stepped in with take and take and take and a good many warm-fuzzy ideals lost their charm. I stopped dreaming about hugging trees and started paying taxes.

I still care about those things, peace, love, harmony and good ol' Mother Earth... philosophically speaking -- but I don't see me or you or anyone as her keeper - I see her as George Carlin saw her: Fair Warning: the following might make your ears turn pink...

------------------------
"We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?”

Plastic…asshole."

------------------------

These days I'd prefer you buy your own house, your own coke and try to keep your damn birds from pooping on my car.

I think that makes me a sell-out and a cynic. So be it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Abridgement of freedom

April 20, 2010
Colorado USA

"There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by the gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpation." -- James Madison

Thanks... much like respect has to be earned Mr President

April 20, 2010
Colorado, USA

To: American Patriots
CC: President Obama, Obama Administration, Congress, Bill Clinton

Dissident Daughter Greetings and Dissent,

My Mom taught me to be polite. My Dad taught me to be respectful. Both stressed the importance of those values especially when addressing elders and certain authority figures. Both encouraged me to become a person hopefully others could appreciate and respect. They also taught me to abhor deceit and to not place trust in those who deal in any form of falsehood.

I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. -- Obama, 2008

Yes, my folks taught me real manners, humility and to be a law-abiding citizen, to be kind and considerate of others, true to my words, accountable for my actions and responsible for my own happiness.

They also taught me love of this country and appreciation for the freedoms citizens of the USA enjoy. Somewhere along the way, I learned that the liberty to make my own way was provided by freedoms set forth by the wise men who set us on the course of a republic. I learned not to take that liberty for granted. In fact, I learned that considerable effort to guard that liberty is required.

I mourn the fact that men such as our founders do not appear to be in our midst these days. I learned not to call people names or to presume to know a person beyond the reality of the actual relationship. To assume you know another person's mind well enough to speak on it is a perilous game. This is a game the Obama administration engages in on a near daily basis.

Growing up with such excellent parenting, the reality of an adult ME is: I do not hesitate to demand a person earn my respect, no matter how high their station. Respect is directly related to how well a person can quantify their words and actions with truth.

So, last week when I heard the President suggest in his usual condescendingly snide manner that We the People, specifically Tea Party Patriots should be thanking him... and then I heard Bill Clinton draw a vague line between Tea Party Patriots and the disturbed people who blew up the OKC Federal building... and then I read Joe Klein of the Times thinks anyone who speaks out against the Obama administration is practicing sedition -- well, let's just say Mom would not have approved of the language or the name-calling in my head, although I suspect my Dad would have tried to hide a grin.

In all, we passed 25 different tax cuts last year. And one thing we haven't done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year -- another promise that we kept.

So I've been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes, taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you. That's what you'd think. -- Obama in Florida, on the campaign trail - again.


I think the President may suffer a bit from ADD. The rallies he refers to in such an off hand manner were not necessarily about taxes even though they were scheduled on Tax Day - I mean what else can a tax-paying individual afford to do after writing a check to the man? It seems perfectly reasonable to hang out on the court house steps and bitch about it. So what? You think that wasn't happening at water coolers and cafes all across the land? Unfortunately, like so many other times the White House jumps on a key word without clarification. TAX. I challenge anyone in DC to prove that Americans have nothing to worry about in regard to taxes. The rallies and the Tea Party Patriots are about so much more than taxes. The President knows it and still he disrespects them.

First of all, the much touted tax cut for 95% of Americans that showed up in paychecks (for those who actually still had a job at the time) was broadcast widely as about $13 if you earn at the top of the pay scale that qualified. Most people realized between $7 and $10. I didn't do the math, so I'm not sure how much came back in our paycheck since sadly, another $13 or $10 or $9 is hardly noticeable given increases in the price of milk, bread, eggs, gasoline, utilities, vehicle registration, clothing, rent, insurance, and other consumer goods/services. Plus, I have to ask, did it escape the attention of all politicians who presented this tax cut from behind snake oil salesman smiles that the increase in taxable income per paycheck is still taxable at the end of the year? The IRS is a pay now or pay later system. Tax cuts/credits are generally not tax exempt folks.

We saw zero raises on our paychecks last year - not one cent. We did not get a year end bonus even though the company made money. The reason given belied the facts, financial hard times... We did not complain, being grateful to still have a job. Absolutely NO thanks to you Mr President. You cannot take credit for this job saved - it was not your doing.

We did not qualify for a single one of those allegedly amazing 25 tax credits (see list at the end of this post). We made too much money I guess or not enough. We did not owe enough or need credits for various items on the list. We did not grab up a mortgage we could not pay on a house we cannot afford with square footage we do not need. We did not trade in our gas-guzzling vehicles for a new car we did not need. Our clunkers are paid for in full. We like it that way. We did not charge our credit cards to the max and whine about it. We decided a long time ago not to have more children than we could properly feed, clothe and educate. We took a hit on our tiny investments, but it was not big enough for a stimulus bail out. We dipped into our savings more than once and have struggled to put those dollars back ever since. I guess we were penalized because we choose not to live outside our means. We were penalized because we can balance our checkbook and know the difference between red and black ink. I guess we were penalized because we did not need or want the government's help to pay our bills. We did not ask for Obama-money. We do not want Obama-money. We know it is not Obama-money. We prefer to make it on our own. We prefer that everyone else with two legs, two arms and at least a couple of brain cells do the same.

Living within our means is getting harder and harder to do. We have had to tighten our belts, saving is all but impossible, investing is impossible. We allow ourselves one amusement - we ride our Harley-Davidson. Holding on to a job, that Harley and maintaining our meager lifestyle is about the best we can do. Still, it is our work and we would like to be free to go about that work without government interference. We would like to reap the rewards of that work. We will gladly share what we can spare with those we think deserve it. We will take care of our own.

This is me being polite... So, pardon us for being mostly ungrateful Mr President. We were doing pretty well until you came along... until politicians and czars and those other nefarious individuals with whom you associate decided they know better what is good for us came along. We look down the road to our senior years now and realize our best years (economically speaking) are behind us.

So, pardon us for being not the least bit appreciative of the fact that we can afford to eat on the $1 menu at McDonald's once in a while and maybe squeeze in a tank of gas for the Harley - all thanks to those wonderful payroll tax credits (that were not your idea).

So, pardon us for consorting with the likes of Tea Party Patriots, for identifying with people of a like mind, for daring to use our first amendment right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble and speak out against government policies that have done us more harm than good.

Second, the Tea Party I attended on the 15th was not so much about taxes as about a big and ever growing government that is out of touch and out of control. It was about off the charts national debt, monumental, unsustainable entitlement programs like Obama-Care, an escalating threat to jobs and the loss of personal liberties. But mostly, it was about values. Core American values. Personal Responsibility. Limited Government. Adherence to the Law of the Land. Sure, taxes came up - those taxes that loom on the horizon in the next decade (if we are lucky enough to put them off that long). For certain, your name Mr President came up, along with a few other select politicians and bureaucrats. We talked a good bit about non-representing representatives and how to rid ourselves of the rascals. When a speaker at our rally asked for a show of hands to indicate how many people present thought we should not pay any taxes - only about a half dozen raised their hands. There are always a few who believe we should not pay any taxes and it is my guess those few were very young and probably do not even pay taxes. The vast majority of Americans realize we are taxed for a reason and taxation is OK -- within reason.

Personally speaking, I will not complain about taxation in theory. I have problems with a growing government trend that implements taxation without representation. I have a problem with redistribution of wealth (your words - not mine) through theftby taxation. I have a bigger problem with the fact that we are paying politicians from the top seat down to do a job badly. I believe Congress should be paid on a purely discretionary basis commensurate to the performance of their duties and in proportion to how well those duties are executed in the eyes of the people who employ them. That would be WE the PEOPLE. Now, who's ordering from the $1 menu?

This President says not to get distracted by polls and pundits... at least he says that when they do not serve his purpose. A recent Rasmussen survey reported that 66% of Americans believe the nation is over-taxed. Hmmm...

Those 25 tax credits... will be offset. According to a summary released by the House Ways and Means Committee Republicans - 25 tax increases signed into law by President Obama so far total $670 billion over the next 10 years. These include 14 tax hikes that break Obama's solemn 2008 campaign pledge never to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year. Those tax hikes include an annual tax on every insurance policy and brand-name drugs.

A Rasmussen poll in late March found three-quarters of Americans believe that no one should pay more than 20% of their income in taxes. We pay well over that. How about you?

According to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center, nearly 80 percent of Americans say they can't trust Washington. Public confidence in the federal government is at one of the lowest points in a half-century.

Third, I resent being labeled in derogatory terms because of my association with Tea Party Patriots, Conservatives or any other American with "seditious" thoughts. We are called seditious but, this is the new label for honest dissent.

I am an American citizen, a law-abiding, tax-paying, citizen with rights and liberties and freedoms granted by the law of the land. The laws this administration and others have all but trampled into the ground.

I am not a racist. I am not a terrorist. I am not a hate-monger. I am not anti-tax. I am not an anarchist. I am not a cultist. I am not a seditionist. I am not a bitter-clinger. I am not over-educated. I am not under-educated. I am not anti-Democrat or anti-Liberal. I am not a Repulican or a right-winger or an ultra-Conservative. I am not a zealot. I am not anti-government.

Tea Party Patriots and those who associate or identify with the movement make up 24% of American voters... and we are not amused. I am an American. I know what that means and I am sharing that knowledge. I am an Independent in more ways than one and I will use my voice to enlighten the undecided, the unsure, the uninformed. I believe in the greatness of this country, the founding principles, the rule of law, and the strength of will that sits resident in the heart of every true Patriot.

Bill Clinton - This Tea Party movement can be a healthy thing if they're making us justify every penny of taxes we raised and every dollar of public money we spend... But when you get mad, sometimes you wind up producing exactly the reverse result of what you say you are for.

Words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and responsibility, we have to take responsibility for.


Ahem! The last person in the world who should presume to lecture anyone on the weight and consequences of their words is a known liar and a cheat. Sorry folks. Clinton is a clever man. He would not have stayed so near the top so long if he were not so clever. But the terms I used above do appropriately apply and so his credibility in this regard comes gravely into question.

I did a little bit of research just before this show - it is on this little napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious. -- Joe Klein, Time columnist, The Chris Matthews Show, NBC, April 18. 2010

Finally, those of us who have chosen to speak up for our country, it's laws, the constitution... those of us who happily practice dissent (bordering on sedition) every day are not going to sit down and shut up. You do not yet have the power to silence the People. You do not yet rule supreme.

FYI: The inflammatory language on my Tea Party sign read: Silence is the most insidious form of consent. I believe it.

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. -- Samuel Adams
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OK - asking pardon from my Mom, this is me being snide... just call it a parting shot --- What you've got to focus on is that true North, that lodestar, which is, are the things we're doing over the long term going to help not just this generation but the next generation? Is this going to make America stronger? -- Obama

NO. America is not stronger nor does the path you've set us on reveal anything other than utter devastation for generations to come... I would cry !!the sky is falling!! for your amusement Mr President, but I am not in the mood.

Forget the lodestar. We have abandoned space exploration - remember? Get real or get on that imaginary rocket ride to Mars.

In other words, you are hereby officially notified of our [We the People] intent to evict you and others from the seats of power in this country. Consider this your pink slip. How's that for sedition-talk, Klein?

Source: CBS News, Obama: Tea Partiers Should Thank Me for Tax Breaks Source: Wall Street Journal.com, Why Republicans Are Winning on the Tax Issue Source: Fox News.com, Obama's Mockery of Tea Party Stirs Tax Debate Source: Fox News.com, Taxpayer Calculator -- The Votes Are In Source: Fox News.com, Bill Clinton Warns Tea Party Anger Could Incite Right-Wing Extremism Source: Fox News.com Poll: Trust in Big Government Near Historic Low Source: Red State.com, Yes Mr. President, Words DO Matter Source: Sense of Events Blog, Joe Kleins seditious hyperbole

25 Tax Cuts Source: Politifact.com, Axelrod claims Democrats passed 25 tax cuts last year without the help of Republicans
Individual Tax Cuts:

1. "Making Work Pay" Tax Credit (Sec. 1001, Page 195). In tax years 2009 and 2010, the Making Work Pay provision will provide a refundable tax credit of 6.2 percent of earned income up to $400 for individuals and up to $800 for married taxpayers filing joint returns.

2. Increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit (Sec. 1002, Page 198). Go to the stimulus bill for all the details, but it essentially expands this benefit for the working poor.

3. Increased Eligibility for the Refundable Portion of Child Credit (Sec. 1003, Page 199). In 2009 and 2010, families who don’t earn enough to pay income tax would be eligible to claim the $1,000 child credit.

4. "American Opportunity" Education Tax Credit (Sec. 1004, Page 199). Increases the Hope Scholarship Credit to $2,500.

5. Refundable First-time Home Buyer Credit. (Sec. 1006, Page 202). This extended and increased the first-time home buyer tax credit from $7,500 to $8,000.

6. Temporary Suspension of Taxation of Unemployment Benefits (Sec. 1007, Page 203). This exempts from taxable gross income the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits.

7. Tax Credits for Energy-Efficient Improvements to Existing Homes (Sec. 1121, Page 208). This provides up to a $1,500 tax credit for qualified energy efficiency improvements.

8. Sales Tax Deduction for Vehicle Purchases (Sec. 1008, Page 203). This allows people to write off state and local sales taxes related to the purchase of a new vehicle costing up to $49,500.

9. Premium Credits for COBRA Continuation Coverage for Unemployed Workers (Sec. 6432, Page 348)

10. Economic Recovery Credits to Recipients of Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement and Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits (Sec. 2201, Page 336). This was a $250 payment for senior citizens, disabled veterans and disabled people living on Social Security benefits.

11. Computers as Qualified Education Expenses in 529 Education Plans (Sec. 1005, Page 202). This allows college students to write off the expense of computers and software, provided it's for educational purpose and not for games.

12. Plug-in Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (Sec. 1141, Page 212). Allows purchasers of plug-in electric vehicles to write off up to $5,000 of their purchase (depending on the power of the battery).

13. Tax Parity for Transit Benefits (sec. 1151, Page 219). This relates to an increased exclusion amount for commuter transit benefits and transit passes.

14. Health Coverage Tax Credit Expansion (Sec. 1899, Page 309).

Small Business Tax Cuts:

1. Extension of Enhanced Small Business Expensing (Sec. 1202, Page 221). This is a temporary increase in limitations on expensing some depreciable business assets.

2. 5-Year Carryback of Net Operating Losses for Small Businesses (Sec. 1211, Page 221).

3. Extension of Bonus Depreciation (Sec. 1201, Page 220). This extends by a year election to accelerate the AMT and Research Credits in lieu of bonus depreciation.

4. Exclusion of 75% of Small Business Capital Gains from Taxes (Sec. 1241, Page 228).

5. Temporary Small Business Estimated Tax Payment Relief (Sec. 1212, Page 222).

6. Temporary Reduction of S Corporation Built-In Gains Holding Period from 10 Years to 7 Years (Sec. 1251, Page 228).

Other Business Tax Cuts:

1. Advanced Energy Investment Credit (Sec. 1302, Page 231). This relates to properties designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as those that produce
energy from the sun, wind, geothermal deposits, fuel cells, microturbines, or an energy storage system for use with electric or hybrid-electric vehicles.

2. Tax Credits for Alternative Refueling Property (Sec. 1123, Page 211). This is a temporary increase for alternative fuel vehicle refueling businesses.

3. Work Opportunity Tax Credits for Hiring Unemployed Veterans and Disconnected Youth (Sec. 1221, Page 223). This is a tax credit to provide incentive to businesses to hire unemployed veterans and "disconnected youth." That latter term is defined, in part, as young adults "not readily employable by reason of lacking a sufficient number of basic skills."

4. Delayed Recognition of Certain Cancellation of Debt Income (Sec. 1231, Page 224).

5. Election to Accelerate Recognition of Historic AMT/R&D Credits (Sec. 1201, Page 220).

Grand total: 25 Obamacredits = zero deductions on out 1040.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Read it now: Ben Stein on Liberals 1976 - not much has changed

April 17, 2010
Colorado, USA

A piece written 34 years ago still relevant... it's long, but it's profound - grab a cup of coffee and read it all... then, read it again.

Same Old: Liberals Then and Now
By Ben Stein

Editor's note: Back in 1976, when Gerald Ford was President, Ben Stein, then a consultant on Washington and conservatism for the Normal Lear show All's Fair, sent this memorandum to its creators:

What I don't like is the way rich liberals, who have made their money through the operations of the capitalist system and who would be miserable bureaucratic cogs in a socialist system, are nevertheless socialists. I suspect that a large part of their motivation is a style of asceticism which has been fashionable among the rich since the time of the Pharisees. Another motivation for the rich liberals to dislike the capitalist system is that they have already gotten theirs and they don't want to be challenged by other people coming along and getting theirs.

I don't like the way liberals of any income group assume that they have a monopoly on morality and that the only conscionable position on issues is their position. A sanctimoniousness runs in the liberal mind which is a direct descendant of the Calvinist assuredness of moral superiority. Liberals assume that any challenge to their position comes from impure motives, often motivations having to do with "profit and loss" instead of the "human" factors that liberals allegedly consider. I resent the assumption of liberals that only they truly understand human needs and suffering.

I especially resent the claims of white liberals that they know best about how to solve the problems of the poor and the black. There is hardly any evidence that liberal programs to help the poor and the black have done much good. The ordinary operations of the capitalist system, however, have made enormous gains economically for the poor and the black. Liberals don't seem to understand that if they take a dollar from one person and give it to another, there is rarely any benefit. If the economic system produces new dollars for everyone, everyone benefits.

Liberals who send their children to private schools while advocating busing are particularly distasteful. The liberals who plead for integration of someone else's children are particularly blind to their hypocrisy.

I resent the notion that everything that corporations do is wrong and everything that "people" do is right. Liberals don't understand that corporations are people. They are the people who work for the corporation, buy its products, and own its stock. There is no mechanical person who is benefited if corporations make a good profit. Real people benefit, just as real people lose when corporations lose money.

I don't like it particularly when liberals say that more money for this or that project can come out of profits. Most people don't realize that profits are small parts of total earnings for most companies and that without the profits, people, even liberals, wouldn't invest their money. And there is nothing wrong with big profits. It's a sign of good management and creativity, which are rewarded in the artistic sphere as they should be in the management area. And the stockholders who get the dividends for those profits are often widows and orphans and most often of all, pension funds. The liberals' idea that profits all go into buying Balmain gowns is just dangerous nonsense.

I resent the influence that liberals have gotten over our educational system. Even in those schools which are other than jungles of fear, students don't learn anything. Liberal parents and teachers who have seized control of the schools teach "Sensitivity" and ''Interpersonal Relations" to children who barely know how to read and write because the basics have been so badly neglected. Students will have more in life if they know how to read and write than if they have had "peer group effectiveness" training. Children who are without financial resources are not being done any favors if they are not taught how to perform the basic skills with which to earn a living.

I resent the idea that labor unions are the workingman's best friend. Unions too often just represent the organized few and raise their wages so high that the unorganized many cannot find work. Unions are just monopolies by another name. They control the wages and place them at a level where employers can only hire a relative few. When the others who are unable to find work want a friend, they cannot even get into the union.

Similarly, I get mad especially about the minimum wage. The minimum wage is just a device guaranteeing that those people whose labor is not worth the minimum wage will remain unemployed. It does not raise any one's real wage because if an employee were worth the minimum wage, he would have been paid it already. For example, every time the minimum wage is raised or its coverage broadened, the number of unemployed black teenagers rises dramatically. They are people who are largely unskilled and if they are to be hired at all it will have to be at low wages. But the minimum wage law does not allow employers to hire them at the wage they're worth, so they are not hired at all. Liberals should ask black people in the ghetto what they think of the minimum wage.

I am annoyed at the condescending way liberals look at religion and patriotism. Both of those are forces which make a people work and sacrifice for others and are genuine altruistic forces. Yet liberals scoff at them. Liberals should try to think whether this country could have been built without a sense of mission greater than the love of government money. In fact, liberals ought to think whether or not their own feelings do not constitute a religion of sorts before they make fun of others' religious practices. They might consider whether or not they have a double standard for people who think like they do as compared to people who have different thoughts. This problem of double standards runs through the liberal mind, in fact. The liberals think nothing of lavishing praise on China, which has put millions to death for political reasons and runs the tightest thought control in history. But they scream bloody murder if a government allied with us, with a thriving and open political system, closes a newspaper for a week. This double standard can also apply closer to home. There are too many liberals who care deeply and sincerely for the disadvantaged across the seas, while they cannot bring themselves to say a kind word to a secretary or to some unfortunate staff person who works under them.

Other examples of the liberals' double standard are their attitude towards criminals. Their hearts bleed without limit for the poor misguided youth who has just killed or raped or beaten a perfectly innocent person but they don't care a damn about the victims of the crime. If you look carefully at our cities today, the worst thing about them is that they have become unlivable because people are terrified of street crime. A major reason for that is that liberal attitudes towards punishing crime simply return criminals to the streets because of trifling technicalities or mischievous schemes that place the happiness of the prisoner above the safety of the public.

The liberal attitude about welfare is also worth getting furious about. They are tender and sympathetic towards the mother of ten illegitimate children who is being supported by the taxpayers through Aid to Families of Dependent Children. Who said that that woman should be allowed to make so many mistakes and then have the state make up her losses? The liberal doesn't care about the working poor who might want to have another child but don't because they can't pay for the child. But for the irresponsible people who live off welfare, there is endless sympathy.

That is yet another aspect of the double standard, and there are more. The liberal wants to make a state in which people who have worked hard and abided by the rules are taxed to death to pay for those who do not work at anything except reproducing themselves. The liberal wants a state in which the lower- and middle-middle classes bear the brunt of all social change, while the liberals sit back with their union pay, or university pay, or inherited pay, or money they have gotten from the system they hate, and watch the action.

Another instance of the liberals' lack of concern with real compassion is their attitude about environmental issues. No one doubts that there are important environmental problems. But there are also people whose jobs depend on taking a close look at environmental issues and not running off half-cocked whenever a cockroach is threatened. Trees may have rights, but they don't have as many rights as people.

I resent the liberals' looking the other way whenever there is a threat to decency or peace from the Communist nations and refusing to take seriously threats to our security from countries and movements which openly plan to destroy us. It is the most pious and dangerous nonsense to think that the Soviets are deterred from dominating the entire world by anything but force. Moral suasion has never accomplished a thing against the Communists, yet that is all liberals want us to have in our arsenal. They would have a disarmed and vulnerable America, trusting to the goodwill of people who have no goodwill.

Liberals, seemingly, will spend money on anything except what is absolutely essential for the entire system to continue -- a strong defense. Their blindness to that need is something I actually marvel at. There is seemingly no lesson which will teach liberals that a strong America is a free America except actual domination by the Soviets, and that may be happening.

In a similar vein, I resent the way liberals condescend to people in the military as mentally inferior warmongers and brutes. In fact, the military has plenty of decent, concerned people. They have to suffer the most if there is war, so they are most sober about the need to deter it.

I resent also a kind of cultural imperialism which dominates liberal thought. Liberals tend to put down any cultural force, such as television, which has not been anointed by some kind of special holy water which can only be conferred by the elites of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Manhattan. Rock is lowlife and fascistic, but tennis elbow from playing in a court that cost $40 an hour in Manhattan is deeply "in." Television is beneath discussing in serious terms according to your really important liberals, but ballet and the opera, which can only be seen by the rich few and which the great mass of people find boring, are immensely significant.

I resent the liberals' belief that all American greatness began with JFK and ended with him.

I resent the liberals' idea that the average American is a savage.

I resent the constant liberal putdown of what is American and praise of what is foreign.

I resent the liberals' idea that great ideas always come from the big cities and that small towns are only suitable for summer homes, that the countryside is peopled by dolts looking to shoot every person with long hair that they see.…


Source: The American Spectator.org, Same Old: Liberals Then and Now
For more of Ben's writings see Ben Stein.com

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party Crashers... found only proud Americans

April 16, 2010
Colorado, USA

I do not understand the logic behind tea party crashers - what exactly did they (if they even exist) expect to find? At the Tea Party I attended yesterday, we had a crowd of Americans.

Tea Party
Americans excited about being Americans.

Americans proud to be Americans.

Americans reciting the pledge of allegiance.

Americans singing the national anthem.

Americans waving flags in celebration of America.

Americans paying tribute to veterans and soldiers of America.

Americans concerned about America.

Americans determined to do something about the government of America.

Americans concentrated on the work that will prove their faith in America.

Americans who believe the words - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If they were looking for racists and angry, out of control mobs... they were disappointed -- they should have been looking closer to home.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax Day Tea Party - Fort Collins, CO

April 15, 2010
Colorado, USA

Here are the faces and the signs in the crowd.

This might be our last, best tax day ever...

April 15, 2010
Colorado, USA

Tax Day

Yes, it's tax day. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, people are stopping by the post office - at least the people who are paying taxes are at the post office. The rest of the world - let's say those who are not paying taxes - are happily going about their way without a care in the world -- never mind the burden they place on the rest of us. Mark the day with care... this might be our last, best tax day ever...
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Update: Read this brief article

[snip] For just over half of all Americans today is Tax Day. But for the other half it is just another day on the calendar. That’s because they pay no federal income taxes. The old saying goes “you can’t get something for nothing.” But these “non-payers” receive government services and benefits without chipping in.

If more taxpayers continue to drop off the tax rolls, we will soon pass the dangerous tipping point where more than half of taxpayers are non-payers. The individual income tax is the main revenue raiser for federal government. Passing the point where less than half of taxpayers pay it would mean a majority of voters could vote themselves more and more government benefits without incurring any of the costs. In this unstable situation, politicians would have no incentive to restrain government spending since they could garner more votes by increasing it. That is a deadly recipe for never-ending increases in government spending that will inevitably lead to fiscal implosion when there are no longer enough productive taxpayers to foot the bill for the expanding state.

See link below for rest of the article.


Source: Heritage Foundation.org, Morning Bell: How Tax Day Became Payday

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Sovereign People

April 10, 2010
Colorado USA

The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors. As Benjamin Franklin wrote, "In free governments the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns." The ultimate powers in a society, therefore, rest in the people themselves, and they should exercise those powers, either directly or through representatives, in every way they are competent and that is practicable. -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, April 8, 2010

White House legislates the use of words... Radical Islam - I said Radical Islam and will continue to say RADICAL ISLAM

April 8, 2010
Colorado, USA

Dissident Daughter Radical Islam
Radical Islam
Radical Islam
Radical Islam
Radical Islam
RADICAL ISLAM

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[snip] Yesterday, the White House leaked that it was ditching the phrase ‘radical Islam’ from government language.
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Feel safer now? Less threatened? Less antagonistic toward the undie-bomber and his ilk? If we make nice and not call the lunatic fringe what they really are... maybe all the bad people will simply go away.

Snort! Here's a couple of words for you - First Amendment!

THE WHITE HOUSE CAN PRETEND TO BAN ALL IT WANTS TO BAN. IT CAN REVISE, REDEFINE, WHITE WASH (LITERALLY WHITE WASH - yep that may be misconstrued as a racist remark) WHATEVER IT WANTS... IT CHANGES NOTHING.

WAR IS STILL WAR.
DEATH IS STILL DEATH.
TERRORISTS ARE STILL A TERROR.
AND ISLAM IS STILL FOR THE MOST PART - RADICAL.

I MIGHT ADD JUST FOR EMPHASIS - IN THE THE U.S.A. FREE IS STILL FREE!

Shakespeare said it best...
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose.
By any other name would smell as sweet."

And BS by any other Obama-Name still stinks.

Source: Red State.com