The Long, Long, Day

Here it is Friday night and you were probably expecting something to read. Well, let me tell you about my day.

After getting some work done early in the day, I spent the rest of it at the Clinton Nature Preserve in Douglas County, at the Douglas County TEA Party.

DCTeaParty070

 

It was a very long, but very fun and enriching day. I will have my full summary of the TEA party in my post for tomorrow, along with photos and all the good stuff.

If you didn’t make it to the TEA Party, you missed out on one of the best political events in West Georgia history.

Another Speech, Another Lie

Once again, President Barack Obama opened his mouth and couldn’t tell the truth. I know that truth telling is sometimes difficult for many politicians, but it seems to be an impossibility with our current President and his administration.

The first non-truth comes in the first paragraph of the following article.

US President Barack Obama lamented Sunday that in the iPad and Xbox era, information had become a diversion that was imposing new strains on democracy, in his latest critique of modern media.

Obama, who often chides journalists and cable news outlets for obsessing with political horse race coverage rather than serious issues, told a class of graduating university students that education was the key to progress.

Information does not impose new strains on democracy. If you believe that information is dangerous then you probably also believe that guns kill people. Information is no more dangerous to society than spoons are responsible for making people obese.

While the Internet has provided a wide array of information sources, one cannot claim that the access to that information alone is a danger to democracy. Unless of course, you are trying to persuade people to think only some sources of information (such as Fox News or conservative talk radio) might be dangerous. Then again, educated people wouldn’t make that mistake and would know that President Obama’s claim itself is a danger to democracy.

President Obama says that education is the key to progress but then tries to persuade those listening that they might be duped into believing some information sources that might not rank too high on the truth meter. So much for that education factor, eh?

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter,” Obama said at Hampton University, Virginia.

If anyone knows about the media’s ability to expose us to all kinds of arguments that don’t rank too high on the truth meter, it’s President Obama. His entire campaign was based on social media popularity and the complete manipulation of our mainstream media outlets.

Don’t you find it odd that candidate Barack Obama used the media to make people believe what he wanted them to believe but now President Barack Obama wants you to think those same media outlets cannot always be truthful or taken seriously?

In fact, the only outlet I know of, which has been consistent in spreading outright lies and misleading facts, is the Obama administration.

Take the following statement for example:

“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations, — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation,” Obama said.

President Obama wants you to believe he does not know how to operate an iPod. Yet, here he is with an iPod strapped to his side.

 

Let’t not forget the fact that he also gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod loaded with music as a gift too.

Talk about information that doesn’t rank too high on the truth meter. Great job, Mr. Obama!

A Long Day Preceeding A Long Week

Wow, what a day!

It all started this morning when the boys and I met some friends for breakfast at a local place that had a line out the door at 9am. The food was decent, the company was awesome, and a good time was had by all.

After breakfast we all met to practice some lighting techniques, shooting with a backdrop and an actual model. I had a chance to photograph some models a couple months ago, but forgot my camera the night they were at a camera club meeting, so today was the first time I took photos with a model that didn’t have wings or branches.

After our “shoot” the boys and I stopped by Sweetwater Creek State Park, but all we saw were a couple Double Crested Cormorants, seven Bufflehead, and two Pied-Billed Grebes.

One of the guys invited us over, so we stopped by his place after the park and spent an hour or so watching the hundreds of birds in his backyard. (Photos of the birds and the model tomorrow, as I am exhausted tonight).

On the way home we stopped by another friends house to visit and chat for a couple hours and we were home at dinner time.

Before the kids went to bed they stood out on the back deck and listened for owls. We played a couple owl calls from the iBird Explorer Pro app on the iPhone, and a Barred Owl responded almost immediately. I played the sound of an Eastern Screech Owl and we were “buzzed” by what appeared to be a Barred Owl, probably the same one who answered the call the first time.

After an eventful day, the kids are all sacked out and it’s all I can do to get this post done. In fact, I think I may be rambling a bit. I have to clean the garage tomorrow, then Monday I will be making calls about the health-care bill.

Back in 2001, Sen. Robert Byrd went on the record to state that reconciliation for Clinton’s health care package was unacceptable.

 

This time, however, he has no problem with it. I wonder if he, or anyone else, has a problem with the U.S. House of Representatives passign a rule that says “the House deems the Senate version of Obamacare to have been passed by the House”, when Article I, Section VII, Clause II states,

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively

Pay attention to that last part that is in bold print. Every vote for each bill shall be determined by yeas and nays, not some rule thought up by House leadership to bypass the legislative process of the United States.

This is a do or die week. Call your Congressman, call your Senator. If you have a problem with Louise Slaughter, the Rules Committee chairwoman, gutting the Constitution and completely re-writing the legislative branch of our government, call them all!

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Tea Parties & Mount Vernon

This has been a busy, and hectic, week. My sister is in town for the weekend, so posting will be a bit light. I did, however, want to mention a couple things.

Did you see what Glenn Reynolds had to say about the Tea Party Convention? Here are some excerpts.

The political elites have failed, and citizens are stepping in to pick up the slack.

He sure got that right. For years we have depended on our elected officials to get the job done, and they have failed. It’s time to make sure things get done and sometimes, especially this time, the only way to get something done is to do it ourselves.

While writing about Sarah Palin’s appearance at the convention, Reynolds went on to add,

Right now, the tea party isn’t looking for leaders so much as leaders are looking to align themselves with the tea party.

The Tea Party movement does not need leaders. The heart of the Tea Party movement is the collective voice of the citizens involved within it. It wouldn’t make sense to silence so many people just so their “leader” could speak would it? That’s the problem that started the Tea Party movement in the first place. Our political leaders failed us and refused to listen.

Never again. It’s time for real change.

The Mount Vernon Statement
 
Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding.  Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The self evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.

A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

  • It applies the principle of limited government based on the?rule of law to every proposal.
  • It honors the central place of individual liberty in American?politics and life.
  • It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and?economic reforms grounded in market solutions.
  • It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom?and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that?end.
  • It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood,?community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.

We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

February 17, 2010

If you agree with the Mount Vernon Statement, head over to the Mount Vernon Statement website and sign the petition. As of right now, there are more than 24,000 signatures.

A Fiscally Responsible Response

This is going to be an interesting election cycle, that’s for sure. Sitting Democrats are dropping out of their re-election campaigns every day, and I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more activity as we get farther into the cycle.

One thing that annoys me, more than candidates who share e-mail addresses without my knowledge, are political mailers that masquerade as surveys or “taxpayer ballots” and turn out to be nothing more than a beg for dollars.

Before I begin, let me state that I am a huge fan of The Heritage Foundation. I receive alerts from them all the time and I visit their site a few times each week. I think they do a lot of good in their effort to inform the American public about what’s really going on in Washington, but with that said, I have to add that I am quite disappointed this evening.

I received an envelope in the mail today that said it was a ‘2010 Taxpayer Ballot on Fiscal Responsibility’. The letter that accompanied the ‘ballot’ explained the results of the nationwide ballot would be used as a wake up call for political leaders. They appealed to me, as a concerned American, to represent my state and help the Heritage Foundation bring responsibility and accountability to our government.

The letter revealed startling facts, some of which involved waste I was shocked to read about. $200,000 for a tattoo removal program, a $2.1 million grape genetics study, and $4.5 million for wood utilization research were just the tips of the blob of pork floating out of Washington on the Potomac.

I was anxious to help and began opening the ballot before I even finished reading the letter. The letter which concluded by telling me that The Heritage Foundation does all of their work thanks to voluntary gifts of individuals just like me. Whoa.

I might sound like a tight-wad but I don’t donate to any political organization. None. Nil. It’s just a personal policy of mine. If part of your appeal to help “change Washington” include an appeal for money then I’m probably the last person you should contact because I believe the reason Washington has gotten so bad is because people keep throwing money around frivolously in the name of politics.

I’m not saying The Heritage Foundation, or what they do, is frivolous, but concluding the “2010 Taxpayer Ballot on Fiscal Responsibility” with a direct plea to return my ballot along with my “most generous tax-deductible contribution” is just a little bit insulting.

Does my opinion count less if I am not generous with my donation? Would my opinions matter more if I dontated a large amount of money? Why didn’t the ballot have an option to check ‘No, I don’t wish to make a contribution at this time, but keep up the good work’? Is my ballot still counted if I left that last part blank? I understand the need for fundraising, but was it really fiscally responsible to ask for money in a survey slamming politicians for spending so much of our money already?

It may be a bit naive to think this way, but I do think if you’re looking for honest results in a survey of the American public, you shouldn’t be asking them for money as a direct part of that survey.

Let’s Retire John Oxendine From Georgia Politics

I almost forgot to mention that I heard back from Tim Echols, John Oxendine’s campaing manager, on Friday. It turns out the information from their database was shared by a “similar consultant”.

Michael,

We share a similar consultant with the Sheffield campaign, and it appears that is how your name wound up in their database. Please know that I did not authorize the sharing of any list, and certainly
apologize for this happening if it occurred that way.

I do value my reputation and work hard to maintain a good name. Sorry for your trouble.

All the best,

Tim Echols

So who is the consultant?

We know that Sheffield’s campaign manager, Kathryn Ballou, is Oxendine’s former campaign manager. We also know that she stayed on to help the Oxendine campaign after she stepped down, but before she stepped in to run the Sheffield campaign. Is she the “similar consultant” Mr. Echols is referring too?

If not, how many other consultants are being shared between the two campaigns?

Speaking of John Oxendine, did you read the latest?

Ten Alabama political action committees, found last year to have funneled insurance company money to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine’s campaign for governor, have rejected subpoenas from the Georgia State Ethics Commission.

This is bad. This is very bad. It seems two local Georgia insurance companies funneled money into multiple PACs that turned around and donated equal amounts back into the state of Georgia and candidate John Oxendine’s campaign.

Last May, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that two Rome, Ga. insurance companies – State Mutual Insurance Co. and Admiral Life Insurance Co. – sent checks to the 10 PACS. The insurance companies are both headed by the same CEO, Delos “Dee” Yancey III. The PACs are administered by the son of Donald V. Watkins, the head of the bank who also sits on the board of both insurance companies. The bank also once was co-owned by Yancey’s father.

Most of the PACs had little or no money in their accounts before the infusion of cash.

Once the payments were made from the insurance companies, the PACs each sent $12,000 – a total of $120,000 — to Oxendine’s campaign. The money was all sent in the same amounts and on the same dates from all the PACs.

Georgia’s Ethics-in-Government Act prohibits officials from taking money directly from companies they regulate. The law also prohibits funneling money through multiple PACs to get around contribution limits of $12,200 per candidate in a normal election cycle.

If the law prohibits funneling money through multiple PACs then State Mutual Insurance and Admiral Life Insurance have some questions to answer.

Even though he returned the money after the original story ran in May, John Oxendine has some questions to answer as well.

Yancey, whom Oxendine describes as a friend, is a major player in the insurance industry. Oxendine and Yancey often spend time together. Oxendine has gone on hunted trips as Yancey’s guest in Mexico and Georgia. Oxendine repeatedly has appointed Yancey chair of the Georgia Life & Health Guaranty Association, a state-created organization that pays claims when insurance companies become insolvent.

Does John Oxendine actually expect us to believe he had no knowledge that his good friend and hunting partner was making such sizable donations to his campaign?

Many people have told me that John Oxendine has been fooling voters since 1994, and it appears to me that he thinks he can still get away with it.

After the whole e-mail fiasco, the attacks on Lynn Westmoreland, and now this, I’m through with John Oxendine and his antics. He’s the last person I want to see in the Governor’s mansion.

It’s time for John Oxendine to retire from the Georgia political scene.

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