Asleep At The Wheel

Do you remember when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast? I sure do. I remember seeing people at our local truck stop who had nowhere to go. I remember talking to those people, and they questioned our government. They wanted to know why it took so long to respond after the hurricane hit.

Then President George W. Bush was criticized, along with his administration, for the slow response. So what’s happening in the gulf now?

Officials in the Obama administration began for the first time Friday to publicly chastise BP America for its handling of the spreading oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, calling the oil company’s current resources inadequate to stop what is unfolding into an environmental catastrophe.

That’s right. Ten days after the oil rig exploded and eight days after the oil rig sank, the Obama administration began criticizing BP. Uh, hello?!?

This oil spill could cause a complete and catastrophic failure of the commercial fisheries along the gulf coast because the Obama administration, not BP, waited more than a week to send any kind of response to the region.

The Defense Department has the equipment needed to help disperse the oil before it reaches shore. The Defense Department has the technology needed to help mitigate the damage from the leak. The Obama Administration waited a week, oblivious to the fact that they were capable of doing anything to help.

Doesn’t that explain this administrations entire record? They are oblivious to the facts, and they are incapable of doing anything except tearing apart the fabric of our country.

If you would like to know how you can help, visit the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, or the Audubon Action Center.

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Coming Soon, The 51st State

I got word from a reader, via email, that an important bill was coming up in the House of Representatives today.

I was away from the computer most of the day, and by the time I got back it was too late to talk about it before it was voted on.

The Puerto Rico Democracy Act was passed in the House by a vote of 223-169 with one member (Louise Slaughter) voting present, and 37 members not voting at all.

The Puerto Rico Democracy Act states,

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 2499


AN ACT

To provide for a federally sanctioned self-determination process for the people of Puerto Rico.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010’.

SEC. 2. FEDERALLY SANCTIONED PROCESS FOR PUERTO RICO’S SELF-DETERMINATION.

    (a) First Plebiscite- The Government of Puerto Rico is authorized to conduct a plebiscite in Puerto Rico. The 2 options set forth on the ballot shall be preceded by the following statement: ‘Instructions: Mark one of the following 2 options:
      ‘(1) Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of political status. If you agree, mark here XX.
      ‘(2) Puerto Rico should have a different political status. If you agree, mark here XX.’.
    (b) Procedure if Majority in First Plebiscite Favors Option 1- If a majority of the ballots in the plebiscite are cast in favor of Option 1, the Government of Puerto Rico is authorized to conduct additional plebiscites under subsection (a) at intervals of every 8 years from the date that the results of the prior plebiscite are certified under section 3(d).
    (c) Procedure if Majority in First Plebiscite Favors Option 2- If a majority of the ballots in a plebiscite conducted pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) are cast in favor of Option 2, the Government of Puerto Rico is authorized to conduct a plebiscite on the following 4 options:
      (1) Independence: Puerto Rico should become fully independent from the United States. If you agree, mark here XX.
      (2) Sovereignty in Association with the United States: Puerto Rico and the United States should form a political association between sovereign nations that will not be subject to the Territorial Clause of the United States Constitution. If you agree, mark here XX.
      (3) Statehood: Puerto Rico should be admitted as a State of the Union. If you agree, mark here XX.
      (4) Commonwealth: Puerto Rico should continue to have its present form of political status. If you agree, mark here XXX.

SEC. 3. APPLICABLE LAWS AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Applicable Laws- All Federal laws applicable to the election of the Resident Commissioner shall, as appropriate and consistent with this Act, also apply to any plebiscites held pursuant to this Act. Any reference in such Federal laws to elections shall be considered, as appropriate, to be a reference to the plebiscites, unless it would frustrate the purposes of this Act.
    (b) Rules and Regulations- The Puerto Rico State Elections Commission shall issue all rules and regulations necessary to carry out the plebiscites under this Act.
    (c) Eligibility To Vote- Each of the following shall be eligible to vote in any plebiscite held under this Act:
      (1) All eligible voters under the electoral laws in effect in Puerto Rico at the time the plebiscite is held.
      (2) All United States citizens born in Puerto Rico who comply, to the satisfaction of the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission, with all Commission requirements (other than the residency requirement) applicable to eligibility to vote in a general election in Puerto Rico. Persons eligible to vote under this subsection shall, upon timely request submitted to the Commission in compliance with any terms imposed by the Electoral Law of Puerto Rico, be entitled to receive an absentee ballot for the plebiscite.
    (d) Certification of Plebiscite Results- The Puerto Rico State Elections Commission shall certify the results of any plebiscite held under this Act to the President of the United States and to the Members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
    (e) English Language Requirements- The Puerto Rico State Elections Commission shall–
      (1) ensure that all ballots used for any plebiscite held under this Act include the full content of the ballot printed in English;
      (2) inform persons voting in any plebiscite held under this Act that, if Puerto Rico retains its current political status or is admitted as a State of the United States, the official language requirements of the Federal Government shall apply to Puerto Rico in the same manner and to the same extent as throughout the United States; and
      (3) inform persons voting in any plebiscite held under this Act that, if Puerto Rico retains its current political status or is admitted as a State of the United States, it is the Sense of Congress that it is in the best interest of the United States for the teaching of English to be promoted in Puerto Rico as the language of opportunity and empowerment in the United States in order to enable students in public schools to achieve English language proficiency.
    (f) Plebiscite Costs- All costs associated with any plebiscite held under this Act (including the printing, distribution, transportation, collection, and counting of all ballots) shall be paid for by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Passed the House of Representatives April 29, 2010.

On the surface, it sounds like a good thing. This bill gives the people of Puerto Rico a federally sanctioned choice for the future of their country.

But that’s not quite the case.

This bill is nothing but a ploy to force the Puerto Rican people to choose statehood.

Right now, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States. The citizens of Puerto Rico are protected by the Constitution, they may apply for benefits just like any other person in the United States, and they may enlist in the U.S. military. They have their own government, but their head of state is the President of the United States. Although they are afforded many of the same benefits and programs at the federal level, they do not contribute to our revenue through income taxes.

This bill asks the Puerto Rican people if they want to continue with their current political status or do they want a different one. Who wouldn’t want to keep their current political status? They enjoy many of the benefits with none of the responsibility that goes along with it.

The Puerto Rican people have consistently voted against statehood. If enough Puerto Ricans vote to change their current political status, they have three choices, none of which will allow them to remain a Commonwealth of the United States.

The first choice is full independence. The second choice is sovereignty in association with the United States (they would no longer be a territory or receive protection under our constitution or any of the benefits that go along with being a commonwealth). The third choice is statehood.

The statehood option failed in 1967, 1993, and 1998. This new bill gives the people of Puerto Rico no choice. They know that full independence or sovereignty will place economic and political burdens on them, making statehood their only likely option.

Right now, Puerto Rico is in the midst of a banking crisis of its own that makes our tanked economy look like Nirvana. What do you think the people of Puerto Rico would do? What would you do?

Keep an eye on this one people. I bet there’s a lot more to the story, because President Obama and his fellow liberals would love to add a few senators and representatives to their caucus.

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A Brief Intermission

After a very slow start this morning, things started picking up. Now I just want to unwind again.

I'm Molting!!!

 

I’m taking the rest of the day to decompress. May your day be as good as I plan to make mine.

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Catching Up

Bad Hair DayHave you ever had one of those days where time gets away from you and before you know it it’s almost tomorrow?

Yeah, I had one of those days today. Hopefully things will wind down here in the next few days and then I can pretend I am all caught up and have completed all the tasks on my to-do list.

Just for the record, my to-do list has about two dozen items on it. I’ll sell you one of them real cheap! Of course, it could be worse.

Despite President Obama’s pledge that all Americans would be able to keep their health insurance plans, the chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concluded that under ObamaCare, half of all seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans will lose their coverage.

I have some things to take care of tomorrow, including a stop at Kennesaw Mountain. Who knows what I’ll have for you tomorrow.

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The Rarities Continue

You can’t keep good birders down.

After a fantastic two days birding, the boys wanted to recuperate by, you guessed it, birding.

On Sunday, we had planned to head out later in the afternoon, but there was a report of a Wilson’s Phalarope at a pond just 30 minutes up the road. This pond is right around the corner from the pond where we were able to view the Black-necked Stilt just a couple weeks ago.

The boys didn’t want to wait, in case the bird was just making a quick stop before heading north. They made a convincing argument, and we were out the door within 15 minutes.

Wilson's Phalarope #1

 

For all you non-birders out there, the Wilson’s Phalarope is the one nearest the center of the image that looks completely different than the other birds in the photo. Yes, the one with the mask.

After a rather uneventful day today, they convinced me that we should double-check to see if the Wilson’s Phalarope was still hanging around the cow farm. Since it’s just up the road, I figured we could make the trip again.

The bird had moved on to greener pastures (hah), but we did get a chance to observe a few different species of sandpipers, a Green Heron that kept flying in and out of the area. We checked all of the other locations we usually do, and we saw this beautiful Red-Tailed Hawk.

Red-Tailed Hawk #1

 

I have several appointments for the remainder of the week, and we probably won’t get a chance to get out much in the next few days, so I hope they got it all out of their system for a bit. I know I did. I need time to recharge and recuperate myself. 😉 Now that’s something you don’t see around here very often!

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