April 18, 2014
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?
He is not here, but is risen.”
Day 1. The day is beautiful, the heavens blue and the clouds move quickly across the sky. The young colt the brethren obtained for me is indeed little, my feet nearly touch the ground as I ride him through the Jerusalem gate. The crowds are sparse at first, and growing more dense along my path. The women, radiant and hopeful, are placing their head scarves in the path of the colt, the men place palm fronds to keep the mud and dirt from my raiment. The children are happy and playful. They run up to me and touch my hand or the hem of my robe. One sunny little girl rode with me for a time on the colt, and then her mother insisted that she come down. My small band of faithful disciples–how will they fare when I am gone? My heart aches for them and I worry that this moment, this triumphal moment, will quickly turn to sadness and weeping, when in a few days I will be gone, and in a matter of years the streets of this city will run with the blood of the vanquished.
Day 2. They have been taught, and still they offend the spirit and purpose of the temple. My anger was kindled today and I forced the avaricious traders and usurers from that sacred courtyard. I commanded the money changers that they must leave. I have grown tired of their advantage-taking of those humble temple-goers, who seek only sanctification while the merchants seek profit. The temple has been desecrated and I will have no more of it. I broke up their tables and threw the money to the ground where they, like scavenging dogs, scrambled after it, every last pittance. I commanded them to leave but they will be back. Their habits only strengthen their lust for money. They no longer seek after the presence of the Lord. His spirit can be found in the Holy Temple, but they seek only money. In a few days the veil in the temple will be rent, and the wrath that will come upon these blasphemers will make my indignation this day seem mild.
Day 3. The brethren were astonished to see, when we passed the fig tree which I cursed only yesterday, that is had completely withered. The fig tree was surely beautiful, stately and full of shameless leaves. But it bore no fruit and was therefore of no worth. My little band of disciples, and especially these men, my apostles, who will take my place when I am gone from here, must understand that faithful words themselves fall short. The appearance of religion is not enough. You must bear the fruit of faith. I care not for your outward appearance, your sumptuous apparel and beautiful faces. You must serve me with works of faith. The fig tree was cursed and withered because it could bear no fruit. All of its sap, the energy it took from the sun, went to its pretty leaves and thick trunk. It was of no use to anyone and so it was cursed, as will be my people if they believe that only the outward aspect of faith is sufficient for the needs of my kingdom.
Day 4. All of the brethren have joined me in the upper room. It is the Feast of the Passover. The aroma of the lamb, the bitter herbs and flat bread are a delight to my senses. This is when my people remember their release from the bonds of slavery, my protecting miracles, and the importance of experiencing the bitter along with the sweet. I don’t think that yet they fully realize the lamb is me. They kill and let the blood of a little animal, perfect and pure, and then take into themselves its nourishing flesh. After this day the flesh and blood of the animal are never again to be taken. The Lamb of God will die for their sakes. They will now remember me with the bread and wine that will impart the higher law with which they will be nourished. No more will sacrificial blood be shed, for mine will flow in a little while, and will fill the earth with its cleansing power. Moses led them out of bondage, and I will break the bonds of death. They will come to know me as they take the bread and wine. Judas, my poor friend, never really knew me. He left us before he could partake of the Sacrament. He became like the money changers in the temple, blinded by the purse and the pieces of silver inside, blinded to the balm of my love and the glory of my salvation. We sang an hymn of praise to Father before we left the upper room then I bid the brethren to come with me to the Mount of Olives, to a garden called Gethsemane. I lingered for a moment, feeling the cool of the evening breeze upon my face. My hands did not tremble when earlier I broke the bread, but they tremble now.
They would not stay awake! My friends could not even watch and pray with me. I am alone in this intercessory prayer, save for the momentary comfort of an Angel, which strengthened me only enough to bear up under this weight. For the load of my suffering is not lighter but has increased beyond understanding. My fingers claw the dirt of this garden. My body is curled upon itself, writhing. I seek one spot of relief, one moment of rest, but there is no escaping this bitter cup. There is an inexorable squeezing within my chest. My lungs are pressed in a vise. My bowels turn on themselves in an anguished dance. Each muscle and sinew is drawn to the extremity. My bones throb as excruciating pressure threatens to burst them apart, joint and limb. I call out to Father to let this task pass from me. But I bow, and succumb to His will. My heart is then shattered with the inexpressible horror of irrevocable isolation and despair. Fugues of agony wash over me. My mind is stabbed with hot, sharp daggers of regret. Each sin, error, and sorrow, screams into my brain in flashes of tearful faces, blistering torments, mouths pleading for release, eyes clenched and fists beating the ground in piteous groveling, frenzied violence, and epochs of war. Ululations from the throats of the wasted Damned. Every son and daughter through all time, of my Father, their depravity and cruelty, filth and sin, diseases and afflictions and infirmities, born into the dispassionate conditions of inescapable mortality, engulfing me, blinding me. My world has become dark and terrible, the old olive trees are skeletons, their bony fingers reaching for me as I am swallowed into the blackest black of creation. My robes are soaked red as the screw on the press is turned, crushing me the Greatest of All, causing me to tremble, the blood hemorrhaging from my skin, seeping into the cloth of my garments. I am seared with a heat, scorching and fierce, as if I will be immolated, and the garden, the trees, my friends, the city below, and the whole world with me. Then I am left cold, the blood has grown sticky. I shiver, my muscles seizing, and it is awhile before my body ceases to shudder and my sensibility is restored.
I rise, my robes sodden with blood, and squalid, mud, leaves and sticks clinging to them. A little ways off a torch lights the faces of a mob. Judas points his finger my direction. I call to the brethren and Peter jumps to his feet. He acts rashly and smites one of the men on the ear with his sword. My strength ebbing, I slowly pick up the piece of the man’s ear, hold it to his head, and restore him. Peter is at once furious and ashamed. Judas embraces me and then I am bound, and taken, pushed out of the garden and down the hill, back to Jerusalem.
Day5. Trials given by men, such men as Annas and then Caiaphas, and then by the Sanhedrin hypocrites. They know nothing of trials. They sit in their comfortable spaces, idle, corpulent, fattened on the labors of others. They spit, they accuse, and they twist the law to fit their ends. They will kill me and believe that they have won the prize. And they have, but the prize is mine to give. These politicians, snakes, liars, and mockers will win eternal life as I become subject to their punishments. They do not know that I die for them. My enemies kill me, and my death brings them life…if they will repent and forsake their lusts and lies and gluttony. But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I. Which suffering caused myself, God, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit–and would that I might not drink the bitter cup and shrink. I have suffered all things, so that even the most depraved of sinners may repent and not have to suffer what I endured in that garden. I die for all, my enemies and my beloved friends.
They are powerless, Pilate, my disciples, Peter, James, John, and the brethren, to turn the tide of hate and anger. Some of those hopeful faces who smiled on me as I rode through Jerusalem as The King of Kings, are now creased with doubt and fear. They join in the chorus to crucify me. They would choose a murderer over The Lamb. The Romans prefer the execution upon a tree. They will hang me on a cross. A cross that I now carry through the streets and up to Golgotha. My back is scored with a thousand lashes, the skin planed, one pass at a time, from my flesh. Some pieces of bone and rock from the scourging whips embedded in my back. The cross grinds heavily upon my shoulders, my muscles ache, and I drip blood along the way, leaving a gory trail out of the city. A man, his eyes shiny with tears and bright with love, sidles next to me and bears up one side of the cross. He would bear my burden as I have borne the burden of the sins of the world. Blessed is he.
I know those nails. They are jagged stakes, not the nails of a carpenter made to join two boards, but rather to secure ship’s beams. Now they splay and wedge, as they break and tear into my wrists, hands and feet. The screeching burn of rasps against raw nerve. Blood oozes thick, my thirst is great, my pain is exquisite, and though my body droops on this cross, my mind is clear. There is one hurt, one sound I cannot, I will not, bear. Of all that I have borne to this moment, the most heartbreaking of things are the cries of my mother. I cannot bear this and I order John to take her to his home, to become her son, she his mother. She grabs at the cross, trying to touch my feet. I cannot look at her face. I turn away and she wails and screams as John pulls her down the path toward Jerusalem. Mother…Mother.
The sun moves over my head. It warms me, and in my agony I begin to feel a replenishing peace. It is power and peace. A reconciliation of all things; life and death, evil and virtue, spirit and flesh. I feel the presence of Father. But He turns from me, suddenly, inexplicably. Why, why now? I call out. And for a brief time the torture of Gethsemane returns, the ignominy of false accusations, trials by charlatans, the loneliness of rejection, the fires of atoning, and the cruelty of the cross. And then it is done. My work is done. The misery seeps from me as the blood and water dripping from my skin. My head bows, my body is still.
Day 6. The labor of atonement is done. The work of my flesh is complete. But my ministry, like my atoning sacrifice, is infinite and eternal. I will return to my Father’s home and prepare my gospel there, for its spirit inhabitants. This little book does not have the space to hold the things that I will do before I return to my body of flesh. I will tell you this; there is no child of God, no soul born upon the earth who has lived, lives now, or who will live, who will not learn my gospel, and then choose for him or herself whom they will follow. Come follow me, I say to all. I am your Savior, I have ransomed you with My blood. My way is the only way to happiness and eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Day 7. I am waiting when the Seraphim move the rock. It squeals against the limestone of the tomb. The splinter of light becomes a resplendent ray, and I am bathed in the warmth of the sun. Each cell of my body made new, pure, glorious. My senses are sublimely keen. The song birds sing a symphony of life, complex and perfectly congruous. The scents of lilies and dewy grass skim the gentle wind currents. The light from the sun is robed with spectral colors, iridescent and supernal. I breathe in the air of the tomb, it is stale and heavy with the spices and oils of embalming. I step out, bid the Angels adieu, and walk to a secret place. I watch from afar as my dear Mary treads the path toward Joseph’s sepulcher. She is downcast, her eyes swollen and her footfalls quiet. She sees the rock. I can feel the panic in her heart. She looks about, seeking my form, the shrouds, some sign of where I have been taken. She runs to me. “Sir,” she starts, “my Lord, where have they taken Him? Where is His body?” She believes me to be the gardener. I smile, but wait a moment for her gaze. “Mary,” I speak, “it is I. I live.” She narrows her eyes and sees my face, then with a gasp falls to my feet and calls out, “My Lord, my Lord!” My precious Mary has done on this Spring morning what I desire all of my children to do. To seek me, and when they find me, know that I am their Lord. I died for them. And I live.
St. Luke 24:6
April 18, 2014
This article by Eric Boehm was originally published by Watchdog.org on March 14, 2014, and reposted with permission on Reagangirl.com.
Medicare fraud: $97 million for mentally ill patients to watch movies, play games
While taxpayers were picking up the tab for intensive, outpatient care for mentally ill patients, those patients were playing games and watching movies.
A federal jury Thursday convicted physicians Mansour Sanjar, 81, and Cyrus Sajadi, 66, the owners of Spectrum Care P.A., along with several of their employees, for their roles in the Medicare scam. From 2006 through 2011, the doctors had been orchestrating a scheme in which they overbilled Medicaid for services that were not performed and, in many cases, which their patients were not eligible to receive.
Spectrum ran a partial hospitalization program for people with severe mental illnesses in need of intensive therapy and ongoing care.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Sanjar and Sajadi billed Medicare for services when the beneficiaries were actually watching movies, coloring and playing games — activities not covered by Medicare.
An investigation by the FBI and the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that many others patients at the facility were not covered under Medicare for any services.
Sanjar and Sajadi paid kickbacks to employees at other facilities and sometimes directly to patients.
The two physicians and five others convicted will be sentenced in September.
This article by Eric Boehm was originally published by Watchdog.org on March 14, 2014, reposted with permission on Reagangirl.com.
April 17, 2014
The following is an eye-witness account from last weekend of the evolving standoff at the Bundy Rancy in Southern Nevada, between Federal Bureau Land Management (BLM) agents and the ranch family who have run and raised cattle on the property for generations. J.J. Fletcher is a businessman, civic leader, father and husband from the Western Colorado town of Palisade. This excerpt was originally published by “Overdog.”
THE REAL BUNDY RANCH STORY FROM COLORADO EYE WITNESS, J.J. FLETCHER This an eye witness report from a grand Junction Tea Party member and friend, JJ who went to the Bundy Ranch and spent the night. Quite different from the TV report…Overdog 8:15 PM: Pass through Mesquite, Nevada. It’s another 9 miles or so to Bundy’s Ranch turn off at Exit 112. As it’s almost dark, we mistake Exit 114 for 112, and turn off, and right into the Feds’ Camp! We are immediately lit up, by millions of candlepower lights on multiple armored vehicles, etc. No, you just THINK you’ve been jacklighted before. I couldn’t see the end of the hood on my truck. “Turn off your lights and put your hands out your windows where we can see them,” a Fed bellowed through his loudspeaker. Of course, we did. A Fed dressed in khaki trousers and a black vest came up, asked me what we were doing here, and I said,” I just turned in off the interstate to make a cell call.” I was just wearing “civies”, and I guess I looked harmless enough, so the Fed just told me to “Get out of here.” We drove on down two miles and took the correct 112 Exit to Bundy’s Ranch. 8:45 PM Friday Evening: Arrived at flagpole area and was directed to camp anywhere you like. We parked in an area just north of the Virgin River, and S.W. of the flagpole, about an eighth of a mile away. The Bundy Ranch was visible about a mile away, across the river and to the Southwest from our position. I was told the next morning that the “hard core militia” were over there protecting the Bundy Family. 8:45 PM thru 6:00 AM Sat. Morning: All night long, vehicles are coming in, setting up campsites, shining lights around, etc. and in general it could be described as a “carnival” atmosphere! 9:45 PM: A helicopter is heard coming upriver towards us. It is very low, moving slowly, and is totally blacked out, except for running lights… it is very obviously an intimidation flight, but no one seems to be very intimidated by it….just the Feds flexing their “muscle.” We try to sleep, but it’s real warm, and the vehicles just keep on coming, and coming. About 2:00AM it cools off a little, and I doze off a little, but the vehicle noise is always present in my subconscious. 6:00 AM: Get up. Change clean socks, and put on my Tea Party Yellow Rattlesnake T Shirt. WE eat a quick ham sandwich for breakfast, and get up to go see what’s going on up at the flagpole area, since that seems to be the center of whatever is going on. I’m amazed at what was there. A huge cache of personal water bottles is stacked 4 feet high, 15 feet long, and three or four cases out from the side of a trailer there. Pickups are bring more water and ice. There is canned pop for free, cold water, coffee, and donuts of all types. It’s always been hard for me to pass up a free donut, so I indulged myself. 6:00 AM–10 AM: We continue to watch vehicles arriving by the minute. Sometimes, they are caravaning several vehicles together in a convoy. Many horn honks, waves, and cheers accompany the new arrivals. Groups are from all over the U S. The Southern New Mexico Militia has been here for two weeks, guarding the Bundy House. They are “hard core militia”. I know their Commander from the original Minuteman Operations back in 2005. I won’t mention his real name here, but his nickname is chrome dome, as he is pretty much bald…..sorry, Bob… he trains his men regularly with live fire and maneuvers, and they are always ready to go. They also excel in marksmanship. Regular practice keeps them that way. The media: They are everywhere. Two major Channels out of Las Vegas are doing live updates periodically from on site. Many newspapers have reporters there. Alternative media such as Pete Santilly and Lucca Zanna have their cameras rolling, and giving all broadcasts live from the standoff. I talk to both of them, and Lucca remembers me from when we were both Minutemen at Campo, Ca. in 2005. Pete seems surprised that Lucca was a Minuteman.The guy that ran with Allen Keys for President was there. His name was Wiley ….something, but he was telling everyone about how Obama is illegal, and it’s been proven by Joe Arpaio’s cold case posse. One of the Bundy Boys starts off the official speeches around 9:00AM. He tells how his brother was tased three times, and others were knocked around and down the previous couple of days, including a 57 yr. old woman with cancer. Next up, was the worthless non-constitutional sheriff of Clark County, Nevada. You know, the one who got the “Sheriff of the Year” award from HARRY REID! Yeah, that one. The one who had told the Bundys that they would just have to “work it out with the BLM”! Yeah, THAT one! The sheriff was accompanied by a couple of deputies, each of who looked as nervous as two whores in church. He started off by telling the crowd of patriots that HE had just brokered a DEAL with the BLM to end the standoff. Huge cheers went up from everyone. Someone in the crowd yelled out, “what about the cows?” The crowd started a chant,” What about the cows? What about the cows.” The sheriff seemed nervous when he said that the cows that were auctioned off would have the proceeds of the sales divided between the Bundys and BLM. This did not set well with the crowd, and some cussing of BLM was heard in the crowd. The sheriff also said that the BLM was lifting the “no fly zone” over the ranch, and was removing the no trespassing restriction on the whole area in question . Clive Bundy then took the mike over, and thanked God for what had been done so far, but then…..obviously “feeling his oats” from his recent victory over the Feds, he said,” I will wait right here until my cows are released. Furthermore, I want the sheriff to tell this County to get out their bulldozers and remove every park entrance that has been set up to charge people for coming in to see their own parks!” I believe that he said “and we’ll wait right here, until you do it”, but I’m not sure on that. The old man was definitely feeling his new found sense of power, from all the support he had just been handed, and was rubbing salt directly into the wounds of the corrupt sheriff, who was shifting his weight from one foot to the other, like a little kid who needed to take a leak. The crowd was ecstatic, and kept chanting what about the cows?, over and over periodically. Then, it was announced that about 60 mounted and armed cowboys would be clearing the hill from which the cowardly Fed snipers had been located. To everyone’s amazement, here comes about 60 horsemen riding down from on top of the hill towards the crowd, amid cheers from the patriots. About ten of them then swept up over the south side of the hill and ended up on top looking down from above. Well, with that Grand Finale, we decided we needed to pack up and get a little jump on the crowd that would most likely be soon leaving. Even though Sean Hannity was scheduled to appear, and the Governor of Nevada, we decided to leave as my truck was limping along on a spare tire on the road, and a severely damaged main wiring harness. I got to Cedar City, about a hundred miles towards home, and I received a call that I-15 has been closed, there is a conflict ongoing with armed militia and police. WHAAAAT? There is another person on their way to the Bundy ranch from Grand Junction, and I have been in contact with her, so I tell her I am going to kill some time in Cedar City until she can confirm or deny that this crap is going on, or not. She’s just about to enter the Virgin River Gorge, and I know she’ll be incommunicado until she pops out at the bottom near Mesquite, so I tell her to call me, and I’ll turn around and go back, if our guys are under fire, but if not I have a crippled truck and need to get it home ASAP. About an hour later she calls, and the story is all bullshit. True, there are a lot of patriots coming out of Bundy’s place, then stopping on I-15 to watch the cows getting turned loose by the Feds. The cows are running under I-15 to get back over to the Bundy Ranch property. This is creating havoc on I-15 as the cops don’t really want to get surly with the armed patriots who are coming up to make sure the BLM delivers on their promises to return the cows. Got home without further incident around dark. J.J. Fletcher
Reposted by Reagangirl.com 4/17/14 J.J. Fletcher is currently running as an Independent for the Colorado House of Representatives Seat in State District 54.
April 16. 2014
Government tyranny cannot be imposed on a population without help from some of its citizens. Those whose consciences have been dimmed by corruption, criminality, personal immorality, and the form of government worship that comes from generations of people voting themselves raises by robbing honest wage earners to support non-earners, are now in charge of one of the most massive pieces of legislation in our history, and as a result, a significant aspect of our lives.
In the latest of a series of stories exposing infestation of the Obamacare state exchanges by criminals and Democrat operatives, it was reported in the Denver Post last week that a director of Connect for Health Colorado was placed on administrative leave after being indicted for stealing from a former employer in Montana. Other officials at the state health exchange claim to have vetted Christa Ann McClure prior to placing her in the position at Connect for Health Colorado, but, not unlike the disastrous implementation of the Affordable Care Act, their vetting process appears to be slip-shod at best. McClure’s position as the director of Housing Montana’s Billings office placed her in a position of authority and sensitivity as well, but her embezzlement and mismanagement cost them tens of thousands of dollars. The charges against her are “very serious” and are related to significant and ongoing criminal activity on her part during her tenure in the Housing Montana job.
The Oregon Obamacare exchange, Cover Oregon, was given over $160 million by American taxpayers for its implementation, but reportedly has not successfully enabled even one person to gain insurance coverage through its website. There appears to be no accounting for the 160M and no explanation for the cause of the exchange’s repeated failures. U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R) of Oregon is pushing for a Congressional probe into the failed Oregon Obamacare exchange, and the mysterious use and/or disappearance of millions of taxpayer dollars.
Earlier this month the California Obamacare Exchange, Covered California, was exposed as having hired a platoon of criminals–31 and possibly more–with prior convictions from crimes ranging from “harm to a child” to theft and embezzlement. The attitude of the directors at Covered California was blase’, with spokesman Dana Howard saying, “We don’t believe there is any heightened reason for consumers to be alarmed.” California requires no criminal background check for the Covered California hires, including the thousands of “navigators” whose primary role is to gain access to the personal data of “customers” as they help enroll them into the system.
Shortly following the disastrous Obamacare roll out–which is still a colossal mess–the intrepid James O’ Keefe conducted a journalistic sting exposing systemic corruption in the Texas Obamacare exchange network. Using legal but secret investigative techniques and video recordings, he found numerous instances of fraud, and illegal political operations. Brian Pendleton, a Democrat operative, hired to direct “Enroll America” in Texas, was eventually fired when O’Keefe exposed the Texas “navigators” as little more than liberal get-out-the-vote campaigners. Pendleton himself, was caught on video encouraging an undercover reporter to break election law by giving “navigators” access to state voter records. Several other Texas Obamacare navigators were fired in the wake of O’ Keefe’s expose’.
From the outset of Obamacare’s implementation, it’s been reported that firms and individuals with dubious records, have been hired by state exchanges as well as the federal offices (HHS) to recruit people into the massive ACA system. Dishonest procedural tactics were used by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in 2009 to pass Obamacare against the will of a majority of Americans, and corrupt people and practices are now being used to force it into our doctors’ offices and lives for the foreseeable future.
Barack Obama has broken his oath of office countless times, and relative to Obamacare, has unilaterally committed the impeachable offense of changing an existing law without the permission of Congress some 27 time–and counting. Ted Cruz describes the President’s actions as “lawless.” It is clear that the ACA is, by nature, extra-constitutional, unconstitutional, and so corrupt as having to depend on those who have no compunction about breaking the law, to implement it throughout the country. Government tyranny cannot be imposed on a population without help from some of its citizens. Those whose consciences have been dimmed by corruption, criminality, personal immorality, and the form of government worship that comes from generations of people voting themselves raises by robbing honest wage earners to support non-earners, are now in charge of one of the most massive pieces of legislation in our history, and as a result, a significant aspect of our lives.
On a personal note, I warned all of my friends and acquaintances who were considering signing up for Obamacare in their state exchanges, that the reality of exposing their personal data to Democrat operatives and “navigators” was not worth the temporary relief they would feel being “covered” by government-run insurance outfits. I hate to say I told you so, but as the Obamacare system groans and wavers under the weight of corruption and failed socialist ideas, I have to repeat…I TOLD YOU SO.
by Marjorie Haun 4/16/14
April 15, 2014
The following is a July 3, 2013 High Country News op-ed written by the highly-respected and widely-read author, Charles Quimby. Quimby was correct when he penned this piece in the summer of 2013, and as legislators are pressured by the Left to use “National Park” designation to assert ever greater control over a large swath of Western Colorado in and near the Colorado National Monument, his op-ed is more relevant than ever.
Quimby: Colorado National Monument Should Not Become a National Park
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As a close neighbor and regular user of Colorado National Monument in western Colorado close to Grand Junction, I suffered a sharp attack of NIMBYism when I heard of a 2011 proposal to turn one of the nation’s oldest national monuments into one of its smallest, newest national parks.
I blanched at the prospects of tour-company motor coaches imperiling cyclists on the winding, narrow route through the park. I dreaded a cluster of water slides and curio shops draped like tasteless bling around a natural jewel.
According to surveys by a study panel appointed to gauge community support, I wasn’t alone. Only about 40 percent favored a change to park status. Another 40 percent howled in outrage against, while 20 percent just shrugged. Given the lack of enthusiasm, last year the group told its sponsors, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican Rep. Scott Tipton, that it would not forward a recommendation.
Apparently, that was the wrong answer.
Early in 2013, supporters began a new campaign based on local pride and tourism to counter the area’s energy-related boom-and-bust cycles. But while I’m OK with pride, the economic claims struck me as overblown.
According to Park Service reports, the three national parks created in the region since 1994 have not brought marked visitor growth after being upgraded from national monuments. Furthermore, national parks attendance is flattening overall, with declines at many parks masked by modest increases at a few mega-parks. The reasons: Cheap fuel for extended automobile vacations is history, the age of the average visitor is rising, and today’s youth have different ideas about vacation.
In short, the national park label cannot transform a small monument from a drive-through tourist experience into an overnight-stay sensation. Even granting a 10 percent visitation lift — a rate not exhibited by other monument-to-park transitions — the new revenue produced would be the equivalent of one McDonald’s store’s annual sales. That’s hardly “critical to stabilizing the local economy,” as claimed by one park advocacy group.
In Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, according to a case study published in Park Science,“The vast majority of current visitors are local recreationists, with the number of bicycles now approaching the number of cars” on one popular route. A study of Rocky Mountain National Park, situated close to the urbanized Front Range, found much the same thing: 46 percent of its non-local visitors came from within Colorado.
Looking at all of the nation’s national parks, 29 percent of visits were day trips by local residents, with another 40 percent consisting of day trips from residents at least 60 miles away.
The evidence suggests that the modest attendance bump from park status and limited overnight stays just wouldn’t have much impact, economically or otherwise. Nonetheless, two years after naming the first committee, Udall and Tipton introduced a new “community-driven” process to draft legislation creating the park. Now, supporters of the change have vaulted into the driver’s seat.
Speaking for those of us riding in the back of this vehicle, I hope the new group will think critically about what the Grand Junction area already has going for it and separate that from wishful thinking about a beloved landmark.
May they accurately weigh the stimulus value of a few seasonal, low-wage, tourism jobs. May they accept that air quality isn’t just an issue for the energy and agriculture industries; it also affects outdoor recreation, temperatures, scenic views, and ultimately, real estate values. And rather than focus purely on how park status might affect residents, they might consider the reality that houses continue to sprout up right next to a wonderful place of natural beauty that needs more protection, not more development.
Clearly, there’s a risk of a dissonant outcome. Consider Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the heart of Utah’s popular canyon country, where it’s a challenge for a visitor to find a place to stay or a friendly set of directions. Or think of the tacky Dollywood-outlet-mall entrance at the heavily visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Grand Valley is already the region’s educational and health-care center, and it’s developing a reputation as a cycling and wine-tasting mecca. Its scenic views and recreational opportunities attract lifestyle retirees, business owners and professionals who build houses, buy cars, seek medical care and support local institutions. These new residents reflect the changing economy in the West, where non-labor income constitutes more than one-third of all personal income.
Tourism’s fine, if that’s all you have to sell. But boosters here should build on the proposition that accessible public lands by any name are a year-round amenity in an already vital community. They don’t have be called “national parks” to be protected as national – and local – treasures.
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Charlie Quimby is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News (hcn.org). He is a writer and retired marketing agency owner who lives in Grand Junction. “Monument Road,” his novel set in the Grand Valley, is set for release in November of 2013.
Reposted with permission on ReaganGirl.com 7/5/13 and again on 4/15/14
April 14, 2014
Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other early feminists embraced the natural roles of women; not those imposed unjustly by society or abusive individuals, but the roles for which women are spiritually and biologically equipped. Feminism, in its unadulterated form, is the philosophy of social and market fairness: Women are equal to men under Natural Law and in the eyes of its Divine Creator, therefore, women should enjoy equal protection under the law–having the right to vote–and afforded remuneration equal to what men receive for employment. Being firmly anti-abortion, and very interested in strong families, early Feminists understood that female progress, safety, and happiness are intimately connected to a solid system of moral values.
These are 3 BIG reasons Good Values are Better for Women than (modern, militant) Feminism:
Sexually Transmitted Disease:
Let’s be honest. Modern feminists decry “sexist stereotypes” while promoting social and political polices that encourage women to be sluts. Women in 2014, despite tons of contraceptive options, are still contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at unprecedented rates. One in every three Americans has been infected with an STD. Every year 10 million American women become infected with a new STD. The medical implications, from lesions to persistent pelvic inflammation to infertility, are greater for women than for men due to a variety of reasons. It’s well established that the Human Papillomavirus has a direct causal relationship to cervical cancer. Chlamydia has numerous long-term side effects for women, including sterility. Viral STDs can be treated but are incurable, and new strains of bacterial STDs such as Syphilis and Gonorrhea are more drug-resistant than ever, and often cause irreversible damage to the female reproductive system. Are you thinking “ewwww” yet, or do I need to show you the pictures?
Practicing traditional values regarding dating, courtship, marriage, and fidelity are the best cure for what ails your private parts. Just saying “no” to promiscuity and “yes” to sexual purity before marriage, and fidelity and monogamy in marriage, virtually nullifies all these personal horrors. You’re humans with large brains. You can do this, it’s not that hard.
Freedom to Choose
Women with good value systems, more often religiously observant and politically conservative, appear to be happier, more optimistic, and more fulfilled than women who identify themselves as liberals or feminists. In his op-ed, “The Secret to Happiness, ” Arthur Brooks cites “earned success” as one of the key reasons traditional conservative women tend to be happier than lib gals. But happiness, to a woman, goes far beyond material success or notoriety, it goes to her very identity. This is where modern Feminism has failed women terribly. Instead of trusting women of any age to be able to sort through all the evidence, wade through all the learning, and cut through all the crap, to be able to make up their own minds about what is best for them as individuals, militant Feminism imposes an ersatz identity on anyone gullible enough to get sucked into its tenets. Modern Feminists have little or no tolerance for individuality. The constant drum beats of abortion, homosexual rights, social injustice, and those oppressive patriarchal males, have the effect of forcing women–especially teens and young twenty-something student types–into a monochromatic identity with no room for free thought or the innate biological signals which drive women to form families and bear children. Abortion and single motherhood are acceptable feminist choices, but marriage and traditional family are taboo. Big government, environmentalism, Socialism, and homosexual marriage are acceptable feminist choices, but self-reliance, Capitalism, and God-defined marriage are openly mocked.
How on earth can any woman inculcated in the limited, angry, bizarre world of modern Feminism find lasting happiness? Now, perhaps, you can see why independent, politically conservative, religious women–supported by a foundation of old-fashioned values–have a much better shot at personal fulfillment than the bitter lib gals.
Many studies correlating religious practice and traditional values with increased physical and mental health have been published in recent years. It’s always nice when data supports the obvious–at least that which is obvious to women who chose to exercise high standards in their lives. This is true for several reasons, not the least of which are:
- Traditional values, the structure of organized religion, and an extended family support system all lend to economic and emotional stability. Faith lends to a sense of optimism, even when present circumstances are challenging. Faith in God, and knowing that there exists a network of loving and invested people to catch you if you fall, affords a great sense of peace and well-being to a woman.
- Hard work, the “earned success” spoken of by Arthur Brookes, enhances a woman’s sense of self-worth and eliminates many of the “uncontrollable” factors in life; those things or people who can determine our outcomes because we have ceded independence for a false sense of security. Whether a woman is a stay-at-home mom, a teacher, or a doctor, the stability afforded by a sure identity and immovable high standards, lends to feelings of success and empowerment, regardless of the relative financial rewards accompanying work. The value of self-sufficiency cannot be overstated. Women who are dependent on government because they have failed to unite in marriage and form traditional families for their children, have lost control of their present circumstances as well as their future possibilities. The only way to regain control, and the sense of worth and satisfaction that comes from making your own way and doing for yourself, is to shake off government dependence, and put your trust in God and family. Feminism encourages women to make government a big part of their lives, while deriding the importance of fathers and sound family units.
- Identity, again, is central to a woman’s well-being and success. Intimacy is essential to mental health, and the intimate knowledge of oneself can provide comfort and security even in the absence of other important relationships. A traditional woman, like myself, is not necessarily a married woman, but rather one who understands and values marriage and its role in human happiness. Identity is not gained from association, it’s realized by an understanding of who we are as Children of God. For a woman to identify with her godly qualities, her power as a pro-creator with God, and her potential for a limitless loving influence on many generations, IS the definition of empowerment. Godly knowledge and identity are the opposite of despair. Knowing oneself and maintaining control over one’s actions and destiny are the opposite of hopelessness. This is why traditional values and true religion promote mental health and are good for women.
Good values, taught within the moral framework of Judeo-Christian philosophy, inform humans of their own best natures. Those who live lives based on such values don’t see themselves as victims, or others as monsters and users. They perceive the world as a place created by God for the good of humankind, full of beauty, promise, and challenges that foster personal growth and resilience. Modern Feminism does the opposite, indoctrinating its adherents that women and other “minorities” are put-upon victims of everyone and every natural condition of the world.
Progressive Feminism is a cauldron of contradictions, with absurd goals and bizarre objectives, and I have never felt at all compelled to join its ranks. That being said, I am probably one of the most single-minded, independent, and tough women you will ever meet. But those qualities come from my values, my connection to God, my love for family, and my deep sense of self-worth. Like my life, liberty, and property, my happiness is neither doled out nor up for grabs.
by Marjorie Haun 4/14/14
April 14, 2014
From the Editor of Reagangirl.com: The Bureau of Land Management clashes with the the owners and supporters of the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, using weapons and intimidation and confiscating cattle. An out-of-control EPA punishes private land owners for using and managing their own property by shutting down property and bankrupting them with outrageous fines. Western states fight federal agencies to retain their rights to develop their own lands, manage their own air quality and use their natural watersheds, rivers, and lakes in the interests of their residents. These are just a few examples of the increasingly militant and punitive tactics federal agents, under the direction of the Obama Administration, are using to exert unprecedented control over America’s private and state lands. As Bailey Bundy Logue, daughter of Cliven Bundy of the Bundy Ranch, said earlier this week:
“Wake up America, Look what our ancestors fought for and we need to stand up for that. We need to realize what’s happening. They are taking everything away from us. This isn’t only about one family. This is about everyone’s family. This is martial law and it’s in America and so what are you going to do to have it stay out of America?”
The following article by the President of the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint, was posted in The Washington Times, March 2, 2014
DeMint: White House land grab
You’d think the Obama administration is busy enough controlling the banks, insurance companies and automakers, but thanks to whistleblowers at the Department of the Interior, we now learn they’re planning to increase their control over energy-rich land in the West.
A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers.
President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it.
At a time when our national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, it is unbelievable anyone would be looking to stop job-creating energy enterprises, yet that’s exactly what’s happening.
The document lists 14 properties that, according to the document, “might be good candidates” for Mr. Obama to nab through presidential proclamation. Apparently, Washington bureaucrats believe it’s more important to preserve grass and rocks for birdwatchers and backpackers than to keep these local economies thriving.
Administration officials claim the document is merely the product of a brainstorming session, but anyone who reads this memo can see that it is a wish list for the environmentalist left. It discusses, in detail, what kinds of animal populations would benefit from limiting human activity in those areas.
The 21-page document, marked “Internal Draft-NOT FOR RELEASE,” names 14 different lands Mr. Obama could completely close for development by unilaterally designating them as “monuments” under the 1906 Antiquities Act.
It says all kinds of animals would be better off by doing so, like the coyotes, badgers, grouse, chickens and lizards. But giving the chickens more room to roost is no reason for the government to override states’ rights.Rep. Robert Bishop, Utah Republican, made the memo public because he didn’t want another unilateral land grab by the White House, like what happened under former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Using the Antiquities Act, President Carter locked up more land than any other president had before him, taking more than 50 million acres in Alaska despite strong opposition from the state.
To read the remainder of the article please follow this link: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/02/white-house-land-grab/#ixzz2ynxXyFgD
Posted by Reagangirl.com on April 14, 2014.
April 13, 2014
Movement Atheists are not content with simple non-belief, or the supremacy of Science over religious doctrine. Their purpose is to dominate public institutions, from schools to the courts, and revamp Western thought effectively killing God; the history, traditions, and sacred beliefs that resulted in the Secular Law which prohibits the Government from instituting a state religion. In a sense, Atheists would undo the very religious beliefs which allow them their voice and freedom to act as they see fit.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly stirred up a hornet’s of false indignation last week, when she questioned claims by an Atheist group, represented by spokesman David Silverman, that the I-beam cross structure at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City is giving its members “headaches and dyspepsia.” Kelly was clearly irritated by Silverman’s endless whining about religious symbols having a place on what are considered hallowed sites, such as the former Ground Zero, and matched his sniveling with appropriately vapid questions. As entertaining as it was to see the frustrated Silverman turn bright pink, the interview was a lost opportunity for believer Kelly to ask more pertinent questions about the true complaints and hoped-for outcomes of the Atheist movement.
I would have posed the following questions:
- The increasing antagonism of Atheist groups against religious symbols placed on, or visible from, public property is purportedly based on what they say is “discrimination” against those who don’t believe in God. In the case of the cross-shaped I-beams at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Silverman asserted that having a symbol of “Christ” was exclusionary and so to appease non-Christians, Jewish and Muslim symbols were also placed on the site. But Silverman, and Atheists in general, fail to submit possible remedies for their woes. If Atheists stand for the non-existence of God–which is theologically an absence of belief–what symbol would they want to represent them in a non-discriminatory balance at the 9/11 Memorial? If this argument is authentic, then an empty space between the Star of David and the Cross of Jesus should be sufficient. But to be represented equally alongside religious organizations is clearly not the desire nor intent of Atheists.
- Atheists may say they place their “trust” (i.e. “faith”) in Science, but if it is discrimination against science that is the central problem Atheists have with the 9/11 Memorial and other hallowed sites, then why is there not also caterwauling from the National Conference of Chemists or The American Association of Astrophysicists?
- Would Silverman and all other Atheist complainants against crosses, creches, Stars of David, et al, be satisfied if a 6 ft golden “A” or mural of the Periodic Table was erected next to those reminders of God which they find so unsettling?
The truth is that Atheists are not concerned about symbols or discrimination, their boundless litigation is about eliminating all evidence that contradicts their narrow worldview. I assert that Atheism IS NOT a passive non-belief in God but an active insurrection against Him and all things which testify of Him, including the exercise of personal faith and public expressions of belief.
Dallin H. Oaks, a former justice on the Utah Supreme Court and an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a recent devotional broadcast, stated unequivocally that Atheists are not simply dis-believers in God–which would constitute theological neutrality–but are vigorously anti-Christ–Antichrist in the most pernicious sense.
To be rationally consistent Atheists, in order to deny the existence of the Creator God, must also deny all things attributable to God which are found in civilized society, namely law which is based on a moral structure of right and wrong. But, as annoying as Atheists can be, most, especially American Atheists, are by and large law-abiding people, tacitly condoning the necessity of moral principles based upon immutable truths and time-tested practices. There is no evidence in their own lives that they are full-blown non-believers, but rather hybrids of personal moral relativism and public civility. The exceptions, of course, are Marxist/Communist regimes that have nearly reached the end of their godless continuum and behave without the strictures of human rights and good and evil found in the West. One consistent theme of American Atheism is, however, the effort within the courts to eliminate any and all expressions of religion, Christianity in particular, from the public square.
Movement Atheists are not content with simple non-belief, or the supremacy of Science over religious doctrine. Their purpose is to dominate public institutions, from schools to the courts, and revamp Western thought effectively killing God; the history, traditions, and sacred beliefs that resulted in the Secular Law which prohibits the government from instituting a state religion. In a sense, Atheists would undo the very religious beliefs which allow them their voice and freedom to act as they see fit.
Atheism, it could be said, has the goal of becoming itself the “ism” of government, where all pronouncements on good and evil, God, the Nature of Man and existence, once left to theologians, are handed down from those who believe that man is the result of a Cosmic mishap. For Atheist thought to dominate, Christian thought, with its devotion and zeal, must be done away, and anyone tempted to practice it, openly punished.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) alone has defended hundreds of religious plaintiffs in lawsuits brought by Atheist groups in matters from “In God We Trust” on coinage to Christmas Nativity scenes, to school prayer, to religious symbols on both public and private property. If American Atheists simply wanted to be equal in their non-belief–which they already are, enjoying the same Constitutional guarantees and God-given rights as the rest of us–the courts would not be brimming with their assaults on the rights of Christians to worship according to the dictates of their own consciences. If Atheists contend that tangible evidence is the only true means to truth, then the truth about their movement is that it is an attack against, not just the symbols of religion, but religion itself, and its most powerful architect, The Savior and Redeemer of the World, Jesus Christ.
Atheists are not the targets of discrimination. But the movement is growing, fast recruiting young people into its ranks. As it gains steam with a secular pop-culture and Marxist-philosophies infiltrating nearly all civil institutions, it is sure that those who believe in the Biblical God of Love will be marked for elimination.
by Marjorie Haun 4/14/14
The standoff in Nevada between the family who owns and runs the Bundy Ranch and Federal BLM agents has brought attention to increasingly aggressive tactics used by government and its officials against the citizens they target as their enemies. Nevada’s Secretary of State, Ross Miller, appears to be using the power of his office, ala the IRS Tea Party-targeting scandal, to destroy his political opponents.
Nevada’s story: ‘People everywhere should be deeply concerned about this’
By M.D. Kittle / April 11, 2014 /
POWER PLAY: Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller pledged to use the power of his office to go after his conservative political enemy, the State Government Leadership Foundation. Miller’s campaign to “intimidate” his political enemies, critics say, is part of a broader initiative nationally by liberals to silence conservative speech.
By M.D. Kittle | Watchdog.org
MADISON, Wis. — Nevada’s Democrat secretary of state says he’ll do all in his power to crush a conservative organization that ran ads against him in his campaign to become the state’s attorney general.
It’s part of a “disturbing trend,” said Matthew Walter, executive director of the State Government Leadership Foundation, the conservative nonprofit behind the ads that earned the ire of Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.
“This is all about freedom of speech,” Walter said. “Whether it’s President Obama’sInternal Revenue Service and their unbalanced scrutiny into conservative organizations, or whether it’s Ross Miller with his threats and blustering in Nevada, what we see far too often are liberal groups defending the right to free speech until they don’t personally agree with the content. At that point, they throw up every roadblock they can to hinder the individual’s right to free speech.”
Miller, who as secretary of state is Nevada’s chief elections official, last month threatened to pursue “every legal option” to force SGLF to disclose its donors. The group’s ad and its website attack Miller, the state AG candidate, for freebies he has amassed while in office.
“I will continue to review every legal option to compel this front group to reveal its special-interest donors,” Miller said in March.
Miller was upset about the foundation’s $500,000 campaign that, in part, exposes the secretary of state for taking $60,000 in gifts from a variety of donors, many of them corporate contributors.
“He lives the life. You pay the tab. Tell Ross Miller to stop living the high-life at your expense,” urges the SGLF issue ad. That message is accompanied by pictures of Miller posing with ear-biting former boxing champ Mike Tyson and a curvy Playboy playmate, and attending glitzy celebrity receptions.
Miller tried to have the ads removed, but the TV stations refused.
The secretary of state’s swag bag since 2009 includes thousands of dollars in tickets to an Ultimate Fighting Championship event, two tickets valued at $1,200 to the musical “Jersey Boys,” and $600 in tickets to a Major League Baseball game.
Miller himself disclosed all of that information in accordance with legal requirements. But he was livid about the conservative foundation’s disclosure of his disclosures. It’s not fair, Miller, said. As an elected official, the secretary of state and attorney general wannabe has to disclose his campaign contributors, and the gifts he receives.
SGLF, as a 501(c) (4), does not have to make public their donors.
“My disclosure forms are public for anyone to see,” Miller said in a statement. “The real question is, why won’t this group also be transparent, and disclose the funders who paid for this ad? Nevadans have the right to know who is trying to buy their vote and what they hope to gain.”
The answer: They don’t have to. Because that’s the law, something the secretary of Nevada ought to know.
Miller has long railed against anonymous political speech, sounding like part of the echo chamber of the liberal “dark money” conspiracy. He — and they — do so with seemingly little regard for the fact that such speech is at the core of the blessings of American free speech.
And as a recent editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal points out, “the collective push from Democrats to root out conservative donors reveals the backers of such speech have good reason to keep their names secret.”
Miller asserts that, under Nevada law, all third-party groups that engage in political expression must register with his office and file reports detailing their contributions and expenses — and donor information.
“However, groups are exempt from such disclosure requirements if they avoid what the U.S. Supreme Court has defined as ‘express advocacy,’ meaning a clear call to vote for or against someone,” the Review-Journal editorial notes.
The State Government Leadership Foundation’s issue advocacy campaign against Miller, while unflattering to the politician, would seem to defy the definition of express advocacy. The group’s ad says nothing about voting against Miller, and it doesn’t mention the names of his Republican opponents.
‘LIVING THE LIFE:’ Screen shot of the attack ad in question, which paints Secretary of State Ross Miller as living it up on other people’s money.
But those facts appear to be of no concern to the secretary of state, who sounds bent on doing all he can to disrupt SGLF’s constitutionally protected rights.
He’s been down this road before, and he’s been burned by his own arrogance.
In October, a judge in Carson City, Nev., ruled that conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity did not have to register with Miller’s office or file campaign contribution and expense forms. As the Review-Journal noted, the case involved AFP fliers attacking a Democrat assemblyman who successfully ran for state senate on his backing of a renewable energy bill.
Adam Stryker, AFP-Nevada’s state director, in a statement at the time, said the ruling was a “victory for free speech and grassroots advocacy.
Neither Miller nor his campaign spokesman returned multiple calls for comment.
Walter, of SGLF, said it’s clear that Miller wants to silence the conservative group’s right to inform the public about his actions. But the liberal campaign to stifle political opponents’ free speech goes well beyond the borders of Nevada, Walter reiterated.
“People everywhere should be deeply concerned about this,” he said. “The fact that he thinks it’s OK to silence political dissenters should be chilling to folks in Nevada and across the country.”
In Wisconsin, 29 conservative organizations have been targeted in a sprawling and secretJohn Doe investigation, launched by the office of Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a Democrat. Prosecutors in the probe, which is like a grand jury investigation without the benefit of a citizen jury, have been digging into the activities of the groups on a theory that they illegally coordinated with the campaign of Republican Gov. Scott Walker during Wisconsin’s Democrat-driven recall elections of 2011 and 2012.
The court-administered dragnet has included what sources close to the investigation have described as “paramilitary-style,” pre-dawn raids at home and properties, seizing the electronic equipment, documents and other items from targets.
In January, the presiding judge in the John Doe quashed several subpoenas, saying prosecutors failed to show probable cause — in short, there was no evidence of illegal coordination.
And this week, a federal judge rejected the prosecutors’ motion to dismiss a civil rights lawsuit filed against them by conservative activist Eric O’Keefe and his Wisconsin Club for Growth. The lawsuit, which asks the judge to shut down the probe because it has and continues to violate the targets’ First, Fourth and 14th Amendment rights, will be heard.
This week, the Office of Special Council reported that the IRS “urged callers to vote for President Obama, disparaged Republicans in conversations with taxpayers and wore pro-Obama swag at working during the 2012 election cycle,” according to a piece in the Washington Post.
On the same day the federal ethics watchdog released its report, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold ex-IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the IRS’ stalling conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status. The House, Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lerner’s case to the U.S. Justice Department for possible prosecution. That department is, of course, run by Attorney General Eric Holder, an Obama appointee.
Lerner’s lawyer, William W. Taylor III, said the now-retired, long-serving federal employee has committed no crimes.
Hans von Spakovsky, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, said he sees a pattern of free-speech abuses by Democrats nationwide, particularly in public officials who vehemently disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmarkCitizens United decision. Critics have said liberal politicians like Nevada’s secretary of state want to rewrite the rules as they go along.
Von Spakovsky, who serves as legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, said he sees the action of Miller in Nevada and the prosecutors in Wisconsin’s politically charged John Doe case no differently than the state of Alabama’s campaign in the 1950s to force the NAACP to turn over its records — including membership lists.
“I guess they are unembarrassed about putting themselves in the same position as the racist lawmakers in Alabama,” Spakovsky said. Why do they want the information? “Clearly it is to bully, harass and intimate donors.”
And the editorial boards of the Wall Street Journal and the Las Vegas Review-Journal, among others see it that way, too.
“This is part of a larger Democratic Party campaign to protect incumbents by intimidating conservative groups that lawfully engage in anonymous political speech, with the ultimate goal of suppressing such expression by scaring off donors,” the Review-Journal editorial asserts.
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller has been the beneficiary of some nice gifts during his time in office. The Democrat, who is running for state attorney general, has accepted some $60,000 in gifts from his “friends” in politics and business during his tenure as Nevada’s chief elections officer. Here’s a look at some of the items in Miller’s campaign swag bag:
Four tickets valued at $3,000 for an Ultimate Fighting Championship event
$400 in tickets to watch a World Extreme Cagefighting bout
- Two “Jersey Boys” musical tickets, at a cost of $1,200
- Airline tickets, at $408.40, from the Shane Victorino Foundation, plus $600 in Major League Baseball tickets from outfielder Victorino. The SOS apparently modeled in the foundation’s fashion show.
- Hundreds of dollars in tickets to professional golf tournaments.
- A $9,360 fee, entry into the CEO Leadership Group Membership, sponsored by Vistage International, a peer-to-peer membership organization for CEOs, business owners and executives of small- to mid-size businesses.
Miller is a UFC fanatic, probably the only secretary of state in the nation who has fought an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout, albeit amateur. And he won. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the 2012 brawl that it was a long-time dream to step into the ring, but that he was hanging up his fighting trunks.
“I’m one and done,” Miller said. “Competing in an MMA event was on my bucket list. Now that I’ve got it done, I’ve got a day job and an important election coming up.”
His conservative critics would contend that Miller has plenty of opponents to beat up on using his power as secretary of state.
Contact M.D. Kittle at email@example.com
April 12, 2014
We should all be alarmed by the extent to which roles of parents and families have been relinquished to government. As Ronald Reagan once said, “As government grows, liberty contracts.” What should be the administration of academic learning and a few basic social skills has grown into a monstrous dependence on government to meet the needs of children, from food, to shelter, to moral instruction. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “As dependency on the public school system grows, the American family contracts.”
The following is the aggregate list of services offered, decade by decade, by America’s public schools. Jamie Vollmer, a teacher, consultant, and public education advocate, compiled this list as evidence for his argument that public schools need and are worthy of ever increasing levels of funding. Although I am using Vollmer’s list in it’s original form, my purpose in using it is not to support the growth of government-run education, but instead to reveal how many parental responsibilities have been taken up by public schools.
It’s alarming to see the the extent to which roles of parents and families have been relinquished to a government entity. As Ronald Reagan once said, “As government grows, liberty contracts.” What should be the administration of academic learning and a few basic social skills has grown into a monstrous dependence on government to increasingly meet the needs of children from food, to shelter, to moral instruction. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “As dependency on the public school system grows, the American family contracts.”
From 1900 to 1910, we shifted to the school responsibilities related to:.
- Health (Activities in the health arena multiply every year.)
From 1910 to 1930, we added:.
- Physical education (including organized athletics)
- The Practical Arts/Domestic Science/Home economics (including sewing and cooking)
- Vocational education (including industrial and agricultural education)
- Mandated school transportation
In the 1940s, we added:.
- Business education (including typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping)
- Art and music
- Speech and drama
- Half-day kindergarten
- School lunch programs (We take this for granted today, but it was a huge step to shift to the schools the job of feeding America’s children one third of their daily meals.)
In the 1950s, we added:.
- Expanded science and math education
- Safety education
- Driver’s education
- Expanded music and art education
- Stronger foreign language requirements
- Sex education (Topics continue to escalate.)
In the 1960s, we added:.
- Advanced Placement programs
- Head Start
- Title I
- Adult education
- Consumer education (purchasing resources, rights and responsibilities)
- Career education (occupational options, entry level skill requirements)
- Peace, leisure, and recreation education [Loved those sixties.]
In the 1970s, the breakup of the American family accelerated,
and we added:.
- Drug and alcohol abuse education
- Parenting education (techniques and tools for healthy parenting)
- Behavior adjustment classes (including classroom and communication skills)
- Character education
- Special education (mandated by federal government)
- Title IX programs (greatly expanded athletic programs for girls)
- Environmental education
- Women’s studies
- African-American heritage education
- School breakfast programs (Now some schools feed America’s children two-thirds of their daily meals throughout the school year and all summer. Sadly, these are the only decent meals some children receive.)
In the 1980s, the floodgates opened, and we added:.
- Keyboarding and computer education
- Global education
- Multicultural/Ethnic education
- Nonsexist education
- English-as-a-second-language and bilingual education
- Teen pregnancy awareness
- Hispanic heritage education
- Early childhood education
- Jump Start, Early Start, Even Start, and Prime Start
- Full-day kindergarten
- Preschool programs for children at risk
- After-school programs for children of working parents
- Alternative education in all its forms
- Stranger/danger education
- Antismoking education
- Sexual abuse prevention education
- Expanded health and psychological services
- Child abuse monitoring (a legal requirement for all teachers)
In the 1990s, we added:.
- Conflict resolution and peer mediation
- HIV/AIDS education
- CPR training
- Death education
- America 2000 initiatives (Republican)
- Expanded computer and internet education
- Distance learning
- Tech Prep and School to Work programs
- Technical Adequacy
- Post-secondary enrollment options
- Concurrent enrollment options
- Goals 2000 initiatives (Democratic)
- Expanded Talented and Gifted opportunities
- At risk and dropout prevention
- Homeless education (including causes and effects on children)
- Gang education (urban centers)
- Service learning
- Bus safety, bicycle safety, gun safety, and water safety education
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, we added:.
- No Child Left Behind (Republican)
- Bully prevention
- Anti-harassment policies (gender, race, religion, or national origin)
- Expanded early childcare and wrap around programs
- Elevator and escalator safety instruction
- Body Mass Index evaluation (obesity monitoring)
- Organ donor education and awareness programs
- Personal financial literacy
- Entrepreneurial and innovation skills development
- Media literacy development
- Contextual learning skill development
- Health and wellness programs
- Race to the Top (Democratic)
Please visit JamieVollmer.com to read more about him and his list.
Posted by Marjorie Haun 4/12/14