July
18
2014

Reagan’s Foreign Policy Cornerstone: Peace Through Strength


July 18, 2014

This book review was originally published by American Thinker, and subsequently posted on Reagangirl.com by author, Marjorie Haun. 

Marjorie Haun

Book Review:

The Reagan Files: Inside the National Security Council (2nd Edition) by Jason Saultoun-Ebin

The Reagan Files: Inside the National Security Council (2nd Edition) is a highly satisfying fix for even the most avid Reagan addict. Jason Saltoun-Ebin’s written documentary is an exhaustive compilation, provided with help from staffers at the Reagan Presidential Library, of recently de-classified conversations between President Reagan and  his National Security team. The conversations, which begin just days after his 1981 inauguration, and conclude with a final conversation between Reagan and Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, in December of 1988, make The Regan Files a time machine which transports the reader back to a prescient era of hair-trigger dangers in a ramped-up nuclear world.

Many related transcripts remain classified to this date, nevertheless, the abridging editor and author, Jason Saltoun-Ebin, offers the reader a navigable journey into the inner workings of Reagan’s National Security Council (NSC) by adding section introductions to provide context as well as annotations to support the book’s chronological flow. Without editorializing on the content of the NSC transcripts, Saulton-Ebin allows the conversations to speak for themselves. The reader’s experience is a “fly-on-the-wall” sense of being immersed in the truisms that “past is prologue” and “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” The overriding theme of the book is that both the substance and style of Ronald Reagan’s leadership were deeply rooted in the man himself; his personal faith in God and  belief in American exceptionalism.

Tasked with rebuilding, both in image and in fact, the foreign policy wreckage left by Jimmy Carter—who was at heart averse to the appearance and use of strength—Reagan’s role in the NSC was one of unequivocal leadership.  Though well-studied, Reagan took no presumptions into his sessions, and allowed his advisors, such as heavy-hitters Caspar Weinberger (Defense Secretary), William Casey (CIA), Alexander Haig (Secretary of State), Edwin Meese (Attorney General), Jeane Kirkpatrick (U.N. Ambassador), Lawrence Eagleburger (Undersecretary of State)and George H. W. Bush, among many others, to bring their knowledge and perspectives to the table before formulating a presidential plan of action. The conversations, sometimes contentious, sometimes eloquent, rarely closed without Reagan’s final say.

The Reagan Files is a window into the 40th president’s grasp of the fluid nature of geopolitical relationships of the time, and the potential impact of new technologies and new threats as they emerged in the volatile ‘80s. Despite the rapidly-changing conditions during his terms, Reagan never projected wishful thinking onto the mural of world events, unlike his modern counterpart. The NSC transcriptions testify of Reagan’s scientific mind and deliberative style, which he used to process ever-flowing streams of data and evidence upon which he would ultimately base his actions—or inaction. His ability to formulate a plan and act decisively once a case was made was a unique aspect of Reagan’s leadership style. Reagan’s confidence was based partly in his ability to identify evil, name it, and NEVER give it the benefit of the doubt, standing in stark contrast to President Obama who always gives America’s enemies the benefit of the doubt, while clinging to fantastical notions about the effects of own his appeasing charm.

However decisive Reagan was, he treated other world leaders, friends and foes alike, as figures who took the well-being of  their own nations seriously.  Reagan, at times, attached  hand-written messages to the ends of more formal policy letters as a way to communicate that his intentions were not belligerent, but rather to see every citizen of every nation enjoy the same blessings of freedom and prosperity available to Americans. One such post script, written to Konstantin Chernenko at the end of a letter addressing Soviet deployment of SS-20 ballistic missiles (p. 292)contained the reassurance, “Our common and urgent purpose must be the translation of this reality into a lasting reduction of tensions between us. I pledge to you my profound commitment to that goal.”

Members of the NSC, including Reagan, were aware that the actions formulated during their meetings had a number of interested audiences including the American people, Congress, NATO allies, and global enemies. Weighted toward United States’ interests, the rhetoric crafted during the meetings always supported Reagan’s Peace Through Strength image. Appeasement took a back seat to the projection of strength. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was an example of such an effective crafting of words. Though still in its technologically formative stages, Reagan’s projection of certainty took SDI out of the realm of science fiction and “Star Wars,” as it was labeled in the media, and created the perception of a defense strategy that the Soviets could neither equal nor defy. SDI is often credited with prompting Soviet defense spending which eventually lead to the bankruptcy and breakup of the U.S.S.R.

Congress, a sometimes adversarial audience, was often at odds with Reagan’s vision of Military supremacy, and he had to remind his national security team of the budgetary constraints on defense spending.  Nevertheless, during the mid-80s uptick in East-West tensions, Reagan never relented on his advocacy of strategies which ensured United States’ dominance. In a session dated January 13, 1984, addressing Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR), Reagan is quoted, “I don’t want the West to be in a position of constantly backtracking or adopting a new posture in the absence of Soviet movement. I don’t want to be in a position of shifting if they give nothing in return.” (p.280) One cannot help but wonder if the present escalation of tensions in Russian and the Middle-Eastern nations might have been avoided had the current administration also remained immovable in their foreign policy goals and strategies.

As past is prologue, many of the recorded conversations in The Reagan Files: Inside the National Security Council, centered on the illegal activities by the Soviets, including non-compliance with treaties such as SALT I. Putin’s recent illegal actions in the Crimean region of Ukraine add a startling depth of context for the reader. Some of the national security themes in the book, such as the global spread of Islamic terrorism, progress on a continuum of growing threats. Concurrently, the assertion of Communist dominance has traced a circular path from dissolution under the strong leadership of Reagan, to a pseudo-democratic mob-state during the Clinton and Bush years, back to a full-blown thrust toward restoring the Soviet bloc under the nearly non-existent leadership of Barack Obama.

From its beginnings in early 1981, to its closing sessions in December of 1988, the conversations depicted in The Reagan Files: Inside the National Security Council, signify Reagan’s acute awareness of history and human nature. Above all, Ronald Reagan understood his own nature which was deeply motivated by his personal faith and fervent patriotism. Speculation still abounds regarding what some believe were Reagan’s biggest mistakes, such as the withdrawal of American troops following the 1983 terrorist attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. There are those who say the decision comprised a retreat which signaled American weakness, leading, eventually to increasing  terror attacks on American soil. Others believe that Reagan was correct in sending the Marines back home instead of escalating tensions in a country ambivalent about our presence.  The path of history, however, is one with varying slopes of national strength and diminishment. Regan knew that evil is an ever-present factor in global politics, and that when one form of evil, such as the Soviet “Evil Empire,” wanes, another, such as Islamic terrorism, will wax strong in its stead.

Peace Through Strength was President Reagan’s guiding principle in foreign policy. Because he understood the world and its ugly realities, and because he applied his personal devotion to American exceptionalism, and the belief that the country he led was the “Last Best Hope of man on earth, ” he left office in 1989 having rebuilt American influence and military might. The Reagan Files: Inside the National Security Council (2nd Edition) is a personal window into the arduous effort by Reagan and his National Security team to leave the world a much safer, more hopeful place for all mankind that he found it in post-Carter 1981.

By Marjorie Haun  7/18/14

Reagangirl.com

This book review was originally published by American Thinker, and subsequently posted on Reagangirl.com by author, Marjorie Haun. 



July
17
2014

Real Answers to Immigration Problems without #Amnesty for Criminal Aliens

HERE’S AN IDEA: Helen Krieble explains The Red Card Solution: a simple, free-market answer to temporary foreign workers in the U.S.

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

Helen Krieble says she will never forget the day that the federal government’s black helicopters and armed agents swooped down on her equestrian facility in centralColorado.

They came in — unannounced — by the dozens, with batons drawn and police dogs snarling at the end of their leashes.

Krieble remembers the agents searching through barns and stables, demanding identification papers from each of the independent contractors who rented space in her facility for the season. Some contractors had illegal workers, who ended up in handcuffs and legs chains, thrown in the back of black vans and driven away to unknown locations.

LABOR IMBALANCE:

LABOR IMBALANCE: The government grants 66,000 visas per year for unskilled nonagricultural workers, another 65,000 for high-skilled workers and about 150,000 visas annually for farmworkers. But that doesn’t keep up with the demand for foreign labor, forcing many workers to cross the border illegally.

Then the agents came to Krieble’s office, rummaging through papers and demanding documentation for each of the workers on her own staff.

“Somebody had reported that we had illegals working here.  We didn’t, but some of the other contractors who rent space in our barns did,” she said, recalling the incident in a recent phone interview with Watchdog.org.

“It’s hard to imagine something like that happening in the United States.  Eventually, I realized it was happening because our laws are bad,” Krieble said.

The immigration system in the United States is broken.

Krieble has a plan to fix it.

Prompted by her up-close-and-personal experience with federal immigration police, she became an activist for better immigration laws. The result is the so-called Red Card Solution” that would create a new system of unlimited guest worker visas for foreigners to use on a short-term basis.

The entire system would be operated by private businesses, with labor offices inside the United States and abroad.  Any foreign citizen could come in and apply for a job.  If they get it, they would be given a temporary “red card” to enter the country and work legally — without fear that the immigration police would come swooping in with their helicopters and dogs to take them away — and would have to leave when the job was finished.

It’s the perfect solution, she said, for the types of workers who come to the United States for seasonal work and return home to their families in the winter — the immigrants Krieble is used to seeing at her equestrian facility in Parker, Colo., or in farming communities across the nation.

While participants in the program would be here legally for the duration of their employment, they would have no way to become citizens unless they left the country and sought re-entry through existing channels.

It’s a far cry from how the nation’s guest-worker permit program currently operates. The government grants 66,000 visas per year for unskilled nonagricultural workers, and another 65,000 for high-skilled workers. The government also issues about 150,000 visas annually for farmworkers.

FOCUS ON THE BAD GUYS: If more workers could get guest permits, immigration enforcement could focus on those crossing the border illegally for illicit reasons.

FOCUS ON THE BAD GUYS: If more workers could get guest permits, immigration enforcement could focus on those crossing the border illegally for illicit reasons.

Compare that total to the estimated 1.5 million foreign farmworkers in the United States, and it’s easy to see why there’s an illegal immigration problem.

When the demand for foreign workers is so much higher than the supply of legal workers allowed by the government, a black market for labor is bound to occur.  And that’s exactly what has happened.

Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington D.C., said those quotas are the real problem.

There is demand for foreign workers in many sectors of the economy and there is a supply of foreign laborers who would like to fill that need.  But the government’s quota for guest worker visas forces many workers to become illegal immigrants in order to get those jobs.

“The law has produced a very restrictive immigration system that only allows a small number of the people who want to come here, to come here,” Nowrasteh said. “If we increased legal immigration and expanded the guest worker program, we could channel almost all immigration into the legal markets.”

After all, he said wryly, you didn’t see scores of Irish or Italians landing their boats on the New Jersey coast and making a run for it during the 1800s.  They all passed throughEllis Island and other legal channels because the government was not setting artificial limits on immigration.

Krieble said the “Red Card” would solve the problem created by quotas.

With an unlimited supply of red cards for “good workers” who can pass a criminal background check and secure legitimate employment, the only people forced to climb over the fence and scurry through the desert would be those who could not get a red card because of a criminal record, or because they were not interested in working a legitimate job.

Those are the human and drug traffickers that the United States’ immigration police should be focused on.

“We need to focus on the bad guys, who are camouflaged completely as they are coming across the border with all the good people who are trying to find work,” she said.

The red card proposal has drawn plenty of opposition on both sides of the partisan divide.  Conservative, anti-immigration groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform have warned that an unrestricted guest worker program would undercut American jobs and workers’ pay.  They are worried that workers will simply overstay their visas and continue to illegally work in the United States, instead of re-applying for a new card.

On the left, some pro-immigration groups like the Immigration Policy Center have voiced concern that the red card program would create a new system of “indentured servitude” because workers would be unable to leave the job assigned to them without violating the terms of their guest worker permits.

And even if those concerns are set aside, the entire Krieble plan hinges on a major assumption — that most illegal workers in the United States today do not want and will not seek a pathway to citizenship if one were offered to them.

Krieble believes this is true.  Many seasonal farm workers and other illegal immigrants are here to make money for a brief period and want to return to their families in Mexico and elsewhere.

Though it is hard to get reliable data on illegal immigrants, there’s historical evidence to support her argument. When the United States offered amnesty to illegal immigrants in the 1980s, less than half of all newly-eligible illegal immigrants ended up applying for citizenship.

Among illegal immigrants from Mexico, 68 percent decided not to become citizens when given the chance.

“That says to me that people who come from countries far away are more likely to want to stay here forever and become citizens,” said Nowrasteh.

But a recent survey of illegal immigrants conducted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials found 87 percent of those polled would seek citizenship if it was offered to them.

Krieble’s “Red Card Solution” briefly gained national attention during the Republican primary in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election.  In late 2011, with his star on the rise in the crowded field, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich voiced support for the plan.

But it was largely absent from the congressional debate over immigration reform during 2013.

Though the Senate-passed immigration plan included an overhaul to the guest worker program, it left the government in charge and the quotas in place.

Eeric Boehm is a national reporter for Watchdog.org. Contact him at EBoehm@Watchdog.org

Republished with permission giving credit to Watchdog.org. Find out more
2/10/14
July
16
2014

Have you been Suckered by “Compassion for the Kids?”

July 16, 2014

“You cannot rely on your heartstrings to be the reins of your reason.” ~ Reagangirl

illchildren

Isn’t it interesting how the media uses “compassion” to get people to side with giving aid and comfort to the illegal aliens hoards flowing into our communities? They publish things like, “Made up your mind on immigration? Meet this mother and her children first,” in an effort to tug at our heartstrings as they aid and abet the invasion of our sovereign nation by drug cartels, terrorists, criminals, and the illiterate poor of Central America. The same media will tell you that an unborn baby, of any race or nationality, doesn’t deserve your compassion, that it’s not really a person, doesn’t have rights, besides, that “fetus” could grow into an unwanted baby, and what a bad life it could have. Abortion activists will react with disgust–yes, disgust is an emotional reaction–to the picture of a fetus in or out of the womb. “That’s NOT a baby!” they howl.

You see, friends, you cannot rely on your heartstrings to be the reins of your reason. The principles of liberty are the cornerstone of freedom for everyone in the world, and ONLY correct principles can provide sure guidance for citizens navigating mists of chaos and deception. If the bleeding hearts were intellectually honest about the poor “child” illegal aliens needing and “deserving” a better life, they would adopt at least 3 of them into each of their families, volunteer to teach them English to ease what will be an overwhelming burden in the public schools, and use their private efforts to feed, care for, educate, and rear these people in their own homes on their own dime.

Too many good people have traded emotion for reason because–brace yourselves–the Left has figured out your vulnerabilities. “It’s for the kids,” “in the name of compassion,” “it’s the Christian thing to do.” Progressive anti-Americans have presented good Americans with an emotionally-driven conundrum. Jesus helped and blessed everyone he could, especially little children. It is a godly thing to be kind and life the poor and needy. We need to act in behalf of “the least of these my brethren.” But no patriotic American is comfortable in this conundrum, because those with a lick of common sense know that to reward illegal aliens with toys, food, clothes, and even the minimal necessities that nourish and heal, rings like a bell throughout the Western Hemisphere inviting the illegals already here to stay forever, and those not yet here to come. Christians, good people, know this. Yet progressives have put out the most powerful bait in the world for these good people, “What would Jesus do?” And many are biting vigorously and very publicly.

But before you bite the “compassion” bait you first must reason for yourself:

Do the ends of the destruction of America justify the means that some support of “helping the border children?” Those who are rewarding the child aliens (most of whom are between the ages of 14-18 and are 75% male) by giving them toys and food and helping them INTO American instead of sending them home, have themselves becomes means to the revolutionary Progressive end of fundamentally transforming America into a flagging, socialist. pseudo-democracy which cannot protect its own borders or culture, care for its own needy, or defend against the thousand forms of tyranny that seek to overrun its lands and steal its resources.

Is one act of  “compassion” that proves to be an enticement for more parents to send their children on a perilous trek, guided by coyotes and organized by drug cartels, to a foreign nation, really compassionate, or is does it simply temporarily assuage a sense of guilt or duty? Is one act of Christian charity that further weakens the identity of America as a strong nation of laws truly charitable, or will it lead to more suffering in the world, more hopelessness as the Shining City on a Hill dims, leaving the entire world in darkness, fear and confusion?

Good people of America; check your premises. Your short term compassion may be nothing more than emotional gratification, the easing of psychological guilt. But reason would tell you otherwise. Rewarding lawlessness leads to more lawlessness, and more lawless brings greater suffering to everyone.

by Marjorie Haun  7/16/14

July
16
2014

Political Correctness: The Death of Freedom of Thought


July 16, 2014

If Political Correctness had been practiced by Adam and Eve, mankind would never have been. “Multiply and replenish the earth” would have ended the minute Adam told Eve that she had a lovely set of fig leaves.

200137265-001 So, let me get this straight–a renowned sportscaster effusively pays homage to the beauty of a beauty queen who is dating a quarterback playing in the game about which he’s commentating.  The renowned sportscaster is called out by “entertainment blogs” and feminist reporters for commenting on the beauty queen’s beauty, and is so thoroughly casti(ra)gated that his sports network feels the need to issue an APOLOGY!

“We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.” ESPN Spokesman, Mike Soltys

How on earth does a heart-felt complement go too far? Ladies, and you guys out there, when you pay a complement to your beauty queen, there is no such thing as too far. This is an excellent example of the mental disorder known as “Political Correctness” (PC).  We all know by now that Political Correctness is the antithesis of moral correctness and common sense. If PC had been practiced by Adam and Eve, mankind would never have been. “Multiply and replenish the earth” would have ended when Adam told Eve that she had a lovely set of fig leaves.  A PC Eve would have kicked Adam out of the garden, returned to school to finish her degree in “women’s studies,” and terminated forever the messy practices of courtship, marriage, sex, and bearing children. When you consider the social implications of PC, it’s clear that the very relationships, observances and rituals that are at the heart of human existence are targeted for elimination by the people and ideologies that push political correctness as a secular Decalogue.

MILITANT FEMINIST PC:

That Brent Musburger’s enthusiastic endorsement of Kate Webb’s appearance drew one iota of controversy is absurd. With the Democrat National Convention, during which many female delegates flaunted buttons that screamed “Sluts Vote,” still fresh in our memories, it’s even more outlandish because the liberal women who asserted their ‘slut power’ in September are of the same ideology as the ninnies howling “sexist,” and “creepy” because Musburger noted that Miss Alabama is an exceptionally pretty woman. Yes, PC is designed to keep men and women as far apart as possible, as far away from traditional marriage as possible, and in perpetual doubt about their identities and the natural impulses that attract them to one another. By the same token, militant feminist PC keeps women as close to their abortion doctors as possible. And it persuades the larger culture that traditional relationships and communications that endear women to men and men to women are outdated and oppressive modes of behavior and language based on intolerable stereotypes.

PERVERSION PC:

The subjugation of the traditional family model to the “new normal” through policies that exalt homosexuality and same-sex cohabitation, while undermining the meaning and purpose of God’s institution of marriage, are at the core of perversion PC. One must tread ever so lightly over terminology that refers to homosexuals and their sexual arrangements for fear of character assassination by the “homophobe” detection squads in the media and culture. Alternate lifestyle PC is so powerful that what was once considered perverse, aberrant and dangerous, is now lauded–and integral to the plot lines of most sitcoms coming out of Hollywood–and to trespass new cultural norms that drive men to be with men, women to be with women, and institutionalize every distasteful version of homosexuality, bisexuality and weirdsexuality in existence, means certain political death, and possibly a lawsuit to boot.

Pedophilia is the new “gay rights” movement. A cabal of university researchers and ‘social scientists’ are now doing the work that the reprehensible NAMBLA once had to do on its own, and that is to normalize the idea that adults having sex with children is neither harmful nor abnormal, and that children may actually enjoy such relationships. Pedophilia proponents are sure to use the hammer of PC to bludgeon opponents just like the perversion movements that came before and now dominate our culture. The pedophilia movement is already poo-pooing the idea that child molestation is criminal and that its practitioners are in anyway abnormal. Pedophilia PC is designed to drive children out of the loving arms of their parents into the predatory arms of sexual reprobates.

ILLEGAL ALIEN PC:

Illegal aliens are known in politically correct parlance as ‘undocumented laborers,’ ‘migrant workers,’ or ‘Americans who got kicked out and have come back to reclaim their homeland.’ But the fact remains that they are in the country illegally, and being non-citizens, are also aliens. PC nonsense is designed to neutralize the innate sense of justice within the lawful person, while eliminating the moral standards by which civil society judges lawfulness. PC labels lawfulness as narrow-minded and oppressive while it proclaims illegality to be a means to justice in an unjust and unfair world. Any terminology that links illegal aliens to illegal activities will get you a protracted sentence in racist gulag. Several states are currently enacting policies that elevate the rights of illegal aliens above the rights of citizens.  Illinois, New Mexico and Washington state will now allow illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses with little or no documentation. The caveat that turns justice on its head is that if illegals are stopped on a traffic infraction, with or without a license, the state could be sued under the current practices of Obama’s Department of Justice, that regard questioning of someone based on race or nationality an infringement of their civil rights. The same does not hold true for citizens who are stopped and/or arrested on a driving charge. In this case, the illegal alien is immune from the consequences that the lawful citizen must suffer should he break the law.

Illegal Alien PC has turned one’s illegal status into a ticket to a free-for-all at the expense of law-abiding Americans. Illegal Alien PC drives potential new citizens away from constitutional principles, personal accountability, and self-reliance and into the arms of pandering politicians and a no-account nanny state. Political Correctness is cultural carpet bombing, indiscriminately blasting apart the foundations of civil society. PC is the wedge between individuals and the healthy, natural impulses that drive them to aspire to American ideals such as marriage, family, self-sufficiency, and individual achievement. PC is the invisible force field that drives young people apart by suspicion borne of the cultural myths of feminists and secularists. PC is the faux compassion that drives Americans away from the moral principles of the Founding Fathers into subservience at the feet of populations who have come to consume the wealth of the nation without ever becoming participants in the American Dream. PC is ultimately a wedge between people and God.  

by Marjorie Haun 7/16/14



July
15
2014

School Trust Land Grants: How Oil and Gas can Power Colorado Schools


May 6, 2014

Editors Note: This article was first published in the Craig Daily Press on September 14, 2011, but the facts presented are true to this day, and the need for sustainable school funding greater than ever.

Marcia Neal and David Ludlam: Oil, gas can help fund Colorado schools

No news but bad new clouds the horizon when it comes to funding Colorado’s school districts. State leaders noted earlier this year that an additional $332 million will be cut from K-12 education in 2012. These additional draconian funding reductions may force teacher layoffs, increase class sizes and shorten the school year in some districts.

But there is a beacon of good news shining from an energy-rich corner of Colorado. Moffat and Routt counties are uniquely situated to provide new sources of long-term funding for schools. The revenues won’t come from printing money at the federal level but instead will come from investing in Northwest Colorado’s energy resources.

The federal government in 1787 issued School Trust land grants. These land grants were awarded knowing new states would need reliable income to establish and sustain public education. Today, the State Land Board manages these acres with a mandate to generate revenues for schools and education.

Land Ownership/Status

Colorado State Lands

Numerous commercial activities occur today on state lands creating a diverse revenue stream for education. Ongoing grazing leases, commercial enterprises and recreational activities contribute. But the most lucrative source of revenue — about 90 percent — occurs when the State Land Board leases oil and gas and other hydrocarbon mineral properties for development. In 2008, state lands generated more than $60 million for schools while 2010 saw a 15 percent decrease in the amount because of economic and regulatory pressures limiting short-term energy development.

So what gives Moffat and Routt counties the unique potential to help Colorado’s diminishing education funds? Two variables — one past, and one present. In 1876 when Colorado became a state, other energy-rich, yet-to-be-named Western Slope counties including Mesa, Garfield and Rio Blanco were part of the Ute Indian Reservation. As a result, these counties were not issued state lands. This historical fact resulted in Moffat and Routt counties playing host to the vast majority of state lands in western Colorado. Presently, emerging technology improvements are revealing new possibilities for oil and natural gas production in the Yampa Valley region. This new oil and gas potential may generate tens of millions of dollars annually for Western Slope schools and education.

As the Mancos and Niobrara shale deposits become household names, and as these rocks begin contributing energy to our nation, decades of dedicated school funds may flow from the Yampa Valley. And as school districts across Colorado lose more than $300 million in 2012, any potential new revenue for education is good news indeed.

To help foster this new source of school funding, working together to achieve several favorable outcomes is important. First, Western Slope stakeholders of all kinds must continue opposing diversion of monies from the education permanent fund into the state’s general fund. These energy funds were designed to grow and become a significant factor in long-term education funding. In states where long-term investment strategies are employed, energy dollars basically fund schools. Diverting funds away from schools in the short-term is short sided.

Second, our organization must continue doing everything possible to facilitate communication about the technologies used in oil and natural gas operations and the safeguards used to protect the environment. Sen. Jean White was spot-on in a recent community forum in Hayden when she pointed out that the industry and landowners must work together to leave behind a positive energy legacy.

Third, Colorado must ensure the State Land Board has the financial and staff resources necessary to process lease nominations and conduct lease sales that will in turn enhance revenue to schools.

Public concern and mixed reactions to energy development will continue as Niobrara, Mancos and other promising formations are explored and produced throughout western Colorado. But all stakeholders can recognize the unique contribution that energy beneath state lands can make to Colorado’s children. With this recognition will come a legacy of newer classrooms, smarter students and a more educated and competitive Colorado.

Marcia Neal is a member of the Colorado Board of Education, representing the Third Congressional District. David Ludlam is the executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association.

Published with permission by Reagangirl.com  5/6/14


July
14
2014

Why the Constitution Must be Restored

This talk by former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, was given at a Brigham Young University devotional held Tuesday, 16 September 1986, commemorating of the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution of the United States.

Constitution2

The Constitution: A Glorious Standard ~Ezra Taft Benson

On the 17th day of September, 1987, we commemorate the two-hundredth birthday of the Constitutional Convention, which gave birth to the document that Gladstone said is “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” 1

I heartily endorse this assessment, and I would like to pay honor—honor to the document itself, honor to the men who framed it, and honor to the God who inspired it and made possible its coming forth.

To understand the significance of the Constitution, we must first understand some basic, eternal principles. These principles have their beginning in the premortal councils of heaven.

Some Basic Principles

The first basic principle is agency. The central issue in that premortal council was: Shall the children of God have untrammeled agency to choose the course they should follow, whether good or evil, or shall they be coerced and forced to be obedient? Christ and all who followed Him stood for the former proposition—freedom of choice; Satan stood for the latter—coercion and force.

The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments.

Look back in retrospect on almost six thousand years of human history! Freedom’s moments have been infrequent and exceptional. We must appreciate that we live in one of history’s most exceptional moments—in a nation and a time of unprecedented freedom. Freedom as we know it has been experienced by perhaps less than 1 percent of the human family.

The second basic principle concerns the function and proper role of government. These are the principles that, in my opinion, proclaim the proper role of government in the domestic affairs of the nation:

“I believe that governments were instituted by God for the benefit of man; and that He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them. …

“[I] believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life.

Read the entire text here:

posted by reagangirl.com  7/14/14

July
12
2014

The “Little Red Hen Principle” at Work in Colorado

July 12, 2014

“The only viable model for free enterprise is that in which reward is determined, not by equality of outcome, but by magnitude of output.” ~The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen Principle:

Lazy ducks who refuse to risk, sacrifice, and get just a little dirty creating wealth WILL NOT partake of the wealth created by those who risk, sacrifice, and get a little dirty in the process. Economic reward is to be based not upon equality of outcome, but by magnitude of output.

2crazy-goose Colorado is two states, not half and half, but blue and red arranged in a piebald pattern where blue cities and resort towns are swallowed in a sea of red. Those little blue islands, however, have immense power to mangle the character and economy of the entire state.

Ballot initiatives are one way citizens in Colorado can make their voices heard through petitioning their pet issue onto the November ballot, possibly changing statutory or constitutional law in the state. Ballot initiatives are a big deal, and Colorado is still feeling the negative reverberations from the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012, which legalized the use of recreational marijuana. The process is arduous, with the proposed initiative first going through a review process at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, followed by the gathering of the 86,105 valid signatures required to get the measure onto the ballot for statewide elections in November. Once sufficient signatures are counted and certified, the organization pushing a given proposition must then mount a political campaign that runs from September to voting day. Countless millions are spent on voter ballot initiatives each election year, and the process is often self-funded by those pressing for their pet issues.

Proposition 75, the “Local control of Oil and Gas” initiative, recently cleared the Secretary of State’s office and is moving through the process to be included on the November ballot. This initiative gives counties and municipalities power to BAN various kinds of energy development within their jurisdictions. Sponsored by the Colorado Community Rights Network, a lefty group akin to “Wild Earth Guardians” and the “Sierra Club,” this initiative is nothing more than a ban on fracking and fossil fuel development.

ASIDE: Funny how lefty groups OPPOSE local control of everything, from what meat you put in your sandwich to your right to own guns, UNLESS they see an opportunity to inflict pain to the energy industry–and everyone else of course, since we all like hot showers and cold soda pop.

This initiative is the culmination of years-long dyspeptic rumblings from Marxist mini-states such as Boulder and Pitkin (Aspen) counties, and other VERY WEALTHY leftist enclaves with huge carbon footprints which act like their kilowatts and full gas tanks are produced by unicorn farts and positive affirmations. ‘Local control of gas and oil’ translated into truespeak means, “Energy-guzzling NIMBYs believe that GAS AND OIL development via fracking is just too nasty for their little paradises and so they don’t want ugly rigs and smelly people with jobs digging and tracking mud through their neighborhoods, BUT THEY WILL GLADLY USE UP THE ENERGY YOU PRODUCE AND TAKE THE TAX REVENUES THAT YOU EARN BY HAVING RIGS AND SMELLY PEOPLE WITH JOBS IN YOUR TOWN!”

Colorado, fortunately, is full of tough principled people–even in government–who see the elitism and logical vacuum behind the push to ban fracking. In response to this lefty economic bunker buster called Proposition 75, Colorado State Representatives Jerry Sonnenberg and Frank McNulty devised their own little Proposition 121, called “Fair Distribution of Oil and Gas Revenue.” This initiative prevents Colorado’s Marxist mini states from being allocated revenues that come from gas and oil severance taxes–stick coal and oil shale in there as well–which to go the counties to fund schools, capital projects, etc. A more accurate title for this measure might be, “You dipwads who actually vote to ban energy development in your localities SHOULD NOT RECEIVE ONE CENT from state energy revenues, because, like the barnyard animals who refused to assist the Little Red Hen in her bread-baking endeavor, if you don’t add to the economy, don’t expect to get the benefit from those who do.”

Hence “The Little Red Hen Principle.”

Ballot initiatives are essentially extra-constitutional, and if Colorado’s constitution was not manhandled and mauled like so many other state constitutions, they would be completely unnecessary. Because conservatives tend to be constitutional purists, Leftists have used ballot initiatives to run roughshod over the state. After all, Leftists have to find something to do between trips to the pot shop and their marathon Noam Chomsky reads. But the Little Red Hen has changed all that. The “Fair Distribution of Gas and Oil Revenue” proposition truly is about fairness. Don’t you just love how the lazy duck, the corpulent pig, the mangy goat, the bi-polar goose, and the bloviating bovine get their comeuppance at the end of the day when the Little Red Hen tells them to go cluck themselves while she enjoys her hot, fresh bread? That principle is at work in Colorado. Memo to Colorado Marxist mini states: If you don’t want to explore, dig, extract, transport and process the treasure deep beneath our feet, then you will not enjoy the fruits of those who do.

by Marjorie Haun  7/12/14

July
11
2014

Glenn Beck: America’s Self-Righteous “Charity Man”

July 11, 2014

This is a political stunt. For as much spiritual fervor as Glenn Beck displays for us to see, true charity is not performed for public consumption in a vast, self-aggrandizing PR campaign.

charityman

Glenn Beck’s grandstanding regarding  illegal alien kids flowing into the country and his very public show of “compassion and caring” make me sick.

This is a political stunt. For as much spiritual fervor as Glenn Beck displays for us to see, true charity is not performed for public consumption in a vast, self-aggrandizing PR campaign.

Mitt Romney is a better example of true, humble charity. Reluctant to even talk about his good works and kindness, during his 2012 campaign Romney hid his charitable works as much as possible from the media. Glenn Beck is proving to be a buffoon, embracing lawlessness and chaos in the name of charity, when in fact, the border children WILL NOT benefit from being encouraged to come here and stay where they are separated from their parents and will live in dependency, as a permanent underclass, unacquainted with the Founding Principles of America, and ignorant of history and the qualities which define American Exceptionalism.

Glenn Beck pretends to be a moral man, but there is nothing moral about rewarding lawlessness, enticing more children to leave their homes and risk their lives in a 45 day journey from Central America. There is nothing moral about giving aid and comfort to illegal invaders, mostly moms and teenagers, who have in their midst “other than Mexican” aliens from terrorist states, China, and other enemy nations using children as a cover to infiltrate this country with plans to KILL thousands of Americans. There is nothing moral about welcoming dangerous Hispanic gang members who will bring crime, murder, and drugs into our communities and fill our already-overburdened jails and prisons. There is nothing moral about ignoring the diseases and parasites these “children” will introduce into border towns, inevitably killing many Americans. There is nothing moral about falling into line with a tyrannical government which is literally dumping non-citizens into American communities, taking advantage of Christian churches, as it  fundamentally transforms the United States into a weakened, debt-ridden, poverty stricken, social welfare state which is powerless to help its own people and control its own destiny.

I would be impressed if Glenn Beck and his self-righteous ilk would take their moral bullhorns and resources and help the thousands of citizen children who languish in foster care because they come from chaotic homes where parents are stoned, drunk, abusive, or not present. I would love to see Glenn Beck himself adopt a couple of citizen teens who want with all their hearts just to have the security of a loving home with parents who care. Glenn Beck would be in the right if, instead of embracing lawlessness and chaos perpetuated by a despotic president and failed socialist states to the south, he gave his voice and money to efforts to bring school choice to inner city kids whose only chance to escape poverty will be a superior education.

I’m fed up with bleeding hearts like Glenn Beck. Charity begins at home. There are millions of American kids who need the kind of help he and his company can render. But those kids, those poor, struggling American kids, they’re so mundane. And helping them doesn’t provide the kind of photo-op “Charity Man” Glenn Beck wants for himself.

Hey Glenn Beck, instead of giving soccer balls to illegal alien Central American  teenagers, why don’t you give footballs and baseballs to American kids who could use a little tender loving care and a lot of hope?

I’m Marjorie Haun, I’m an Mormon, and I approved this message.

by Marjorie Haun  July 11, 2014

July
11
2014

Old Sarge: How the Border Surge will Create a Permanent Underclass

July 11, 2014

Forrest L. Gomez is an author, Vietnam veteran, friend, and some would say, curmudgeon. He is affectionately known as Old Sarge.

2illegal-immigrant-children-obama-dumps-on-arizona-2014 FROM THE DESK OF OLD SARGE:

  • Do we need any more evidence that the Left has gone quite mad? Now some Liberals are saying that we should refrain from assigning a  child’s gender at birth, claiming that we should wait for wee ones to “discover” their inner, true selves.
  • The hysteria over the SCOTUS decision to back the owners of Hobby Lobby goes on, as those who hate private property rights but by hell want their contraceptives having no compunction about telling lies to get what they want. Folks, go buy something  from Hobby Lobby, just to show the Left that, when real just ice is applied,  individual rights still triumph over the imagined collective.
  • The new “positive” jobs figures fail to reveal that most of the jobs created in the previous quarter were government or part-time jobs. And surprise, surprise, once the endless unemployment benefits were cut off, scores of former recipients went out and rejoined the workforce!

But to the meat of what I want to talk about today. One hundred years ago, the ghastliest war in history swept across Europe and much of the world. Different nations declared war on other nations at different times, so there is really no designated start date for the Great War, World War I. When the Archduke, Ferdinand, and his wife were killed at Sarajevo, most American newspapers didn’t even print the story; one more assassination in Europe during turbulent times meant little to most Americans. We were determined to stay out of it, but a few years later, German U-boats were sinking our ships, and the German foreign minister was caught sending a letter to the Mexican government, urging them to ally with Imperial Germany and attack the United States.

Why this little 20th Century World History lesson? My point is simple. We have people among the conservative ranks those who want us to simply withdraw from the world, and put all out troops along the Northern and Southern Borders of America, which would be in violation of treaties with Canada and Mexico. If anyone thinks that we can ignore the rest of the world and not be affected, history says you are wrong. Now, on my next point, some are going to call me a racist, but I want you to once again put several thoughts together. Obama clearly reveals in both of his autobiographies, as well as through the policies of his lackey Justice Department, that he has a grudge against those of us who are on the lighter end of the color spectrum. I’m not assigning the surge to the border of illegal alien children from Central America to any conspiracy, because conspiracies are covert and the attempt to change the demographics of this country is right out in the open for all to see. However, the present illegal immigrant flood is an attempt by the Obama cult to slowly eliminate the white majority in this country, while weakening free market Capitalism and spreading third-world socioeconomic conditions throughout the Heartland.

But beyond race or nationality, President Obama wants to broaden the permanent underclass created and nurtured by Democrats, beginning with FDR. That dependent, underemployed, under-educated, unacquainted-with-American-exceptionalism underclass, is intended to become the permanent ruling class of Democrat voters.

If the tide of illegal child aliens is not stemmed now, the existing dependency class will be salted and peppered with people who are ignorant of this nation’s Founding principles, alien to its culture, and paralyzed by the vast responsibilities that come with freedom.

Well, there it is. Anyone can have at me now in good-mannered, intelligent debate.

Conspiracy theorists, take a hike. God be with you all in the coming trying days for our nation. I’m off to work.

- The Sarge

Posted by Reagangirl.com  July 11, 2014

The opinions expressed by Old Sarge do not necessarily reflect those of Reagangirl.com.

July
10
2014

Colorado Representatives Tell Feds to Back Off Energy-Rich Lands

July 10, 2014

The following is taken from a press release from the office of United States Congressman, Scott Tipton (R) of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District:

Tipton and Gardner Urge Feds to Keep Hands off Vermillion Basin   July 9, 2014

vermillion

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressmen Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) outlined concerns over the President’s use of the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate large swaths lands in western states as national monuments, and warned against any such unilateral action on the Vermillion Basin. In their letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, the members also requested a list of lands being considered for national monument designation or any special designation by the President through the use of the Antiquities Act.

Their letter to Secretary Jewell follows:

We are writing to express our concern regarding President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate massive blocks of land across the West as national monuments.  The unilateral designation of millions of acres, without local input or support from surrounding communities, amounts to a complete disregard for the will of the American people and their ability to have their voices heard.

Recently, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate a 500,000 acre national monument in New Mexico, despite local objections and a lack of local participation in the designation of the monument.  What makes the unilateral action in New Mexico so alarming is that the area impacted signifies what could be just the initial phase to implement an internal Department of Interior document from 2009, titled Treasured Landscapes.  This document includes information that the Administration may take unilateral action to lock-away an additional 13 million acres in Western States, including the Vermillion Basin in Moffat County, Colorado.

Locking away over 13 million acres of Western land by way of the Antiquities Act, without Congressional approval or public input, will restrict access for energy production, recreation, and other job creating economic activities.  Given the breadth of this document and this Administration’s use of the Antiquities Act to date, the local communities that surround Vermillion Basin are deeply concerned.

The designation of Vermillion Basin as a national monument would result in a lasting, if not permanent, adverse economic impacts on the communities of Northwestern Colorado, including their ability to sustain and create jobs.  Local elected officials and stakeholders have recently sent letters asking that any consideration of the Vermillion Basin as a national monument be halted until broad consensus and community support from all sectors are secured.

Moffat County and the Vermillion Basin area residents have been intimately involved in the national monument conversation for the past 15 years with local solutions and compromise continually being sought.  However, in 2000, various environmental groups proposed that the Vermillion Basin should become a national monument without any input from local elected officials.  In 2007, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and Senator Ken Salazar embarked on a helicopter tour of the area to “envision” the basin for a special designation, again without seeking input from the community stakeholders and locally elected officials.  Finally, in 2010, the local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office and a diverse group of locally affected interests supported a plan to responsibly manage the Vermillion Basin by balancing multiple uses for the community with environmental protections. Years after the implementation of this locally driven compromise, the Washington, DC office of the BLM challenged and overturned the management plan that the local BLM office and the communities’ agreed upon.

The original intent of the Antiquities Act was to provide protections for at-risk lands facing an immediate threat.  However, the lands the President is now targeting, such as the Vermillion Basin, already have such protections in place.

We are proponents of a bottom-up approach to public lands designations to ensure public participation from local communities.  When the President unilaterally designates a monument under the Antiquities Act without local support, he is essentially imposing his will over the objections of the American people.  This disconcerting development speaks to the urgent need to update the Antiquities Act and give the American people a voice in the process.

We respectfully request that any Presidential use of the Antiquities Act to designate public lands as national monuments, such as the Vermillion Basin, be fully vetted through a locally driven bottom-up process involving those affected by such a designation change.  Additionally, we also request a list of lands being considered for national monument designation or any special designation by the President through the use of the Antiquities Act.

View a signed pdf of the letter HERE.

Posted by Reagangirl.com  7/10/14

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