Defended: Term Limits in Nashville, TN

Don’t you just love when citizens take a stand against slippery politicians? That’s what happened last week in Nashville, when U.S. Term Limits helped citizens defeat two anti-term limits proposals foisted on them by the city’s Metro Council.

Nashville Council members have now tried five times to weaken their two-term limit, failing each time because voters are too smart to allow it.

Councilwoman Emily Evans thought she had finally figured out how to trick the people, combining weaker term limits and a smaller Council size into one ballot measure. But thanks to the efforts of local activists and USTL on the ground, that was not to be.

A late yard sign campaign informed citizens at every polling place that Evans’ amendment was crooked, and it was beaten in a landslide 26-point margin. The special interests that funded her campaign were shocked!

USTL assists in local term limits campaigns because elected officials at all levels will veer into corrupt and self-serving behavior. When this happens, the wealthy lobbyists and donors who prop up politicians will do everything they can to beat term limits.
We cannot let it happen.

Thank You,

Nick Tomboulides
Executive Director, U.S. Term Limits

Senator Rand Paul Introduces ‘Read the Bills Act’

AKRON, Ohio /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — “Congress has to read the bills, if they want to claim they represent us,” declares Jim Babka, President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. “The ‘Read the Bills Act’ restores fiduciary duty in Congress.”

Under the Read the Bills Act (RTBA, S. 1571), members of Congress would have to sign an affidavit indicating they’ve read the bill or heard it read to them before voting “For” the bill. Courts would be prohibited from enforcing laws that didn’t meet this requirement.

“You can’t claim ignorance of the law as a defense in court,” Babka continues. “So there shouldn’t be any excuse for politicians to pass huge bills they haven’t read.”

Senator Paul has been featuring this issue as one of his priorities while on the campaign trail.  The Senator himself observes that, “Too often in Congress, legislation is shoved through without hearings, amendments or debate. Elected officials are rarely given an adequate amount of time to read the bills in full, and unlike Rep.Nancy Pelosi, I believe we must read the bills before passing them into law.”

RTBA also requires the bill to be posted online for seven days before the final vote. This, Senator Paul notes, will give Americans “sufficient time to read and give input to Members of Congress as they consider legislation.”

This simple, “transpartisan” act is hard for members of Congress to accept. But Americans love it. Grover Norquist, in his book, Leave Us Alone, called the bill an essential reform for transparency, applauding the fact that it prohibits sneaking-in last minute deals.

Babka commends Senator Paul. “He’s not only re-introduced this bill, which would be a law that would protect individuals, but he’s also put forth a Read the Bill rule, which would require the Senate to have a waiting period of bill publication for the vote. Truly, he’s committed to this issue.”

To help attract more co-sponsors to Senator Paul’s bill, DownsizeDC.org offers a free tool for constituents to deliver letters directly to their Representative and two Senators. Here’s the link: https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/rtba/

DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

http://www.DownsizeDC.org

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Soviet Fascism in the 21st Century: The Ideology of Death and Destruction

The killing of five servicemen in Tennessee mobilized the entire security forces looking for a motive and wrongly identified the shooting as a Domestic Terrorism. For me the motive is as clear as a blue sky—it was an act of Islamic terror. The entire week starting on July 14, 2015 was full of killings, deceit, and destructions going on in America and around the world. It was an apogee of the ideology I called Soviet Fascism and its assaults on the West. The picture was presenting a system of political believes and all its deadly components acting simultaneously. I am writing about the ideology again, because 55 per cent of young people in America are planning to leave the country. I feel, it is my duty to educate them and tell them the truth about the political party called Democratic Party, which is responsible for the destruction going on in our country and throughout the world.

Liberals and Conservatives

The term “Classic Liberals” came to life as a representation of the people with strong principles and beliefs, embracing a certain philosophy in a conception of liberty. It describes and indicates various types of individual freedoms, such as religious liberty, political liberty, freedom of speech, right of self-defense, and the like. This is a very positive identification of the “Classic Liberals” in the history of the nineteenth century. They are for all the liberties plus they are the patriots of their country, pursuing national security along the path of the truth. They are self-sufficient and love the flag, country, and religion. I love them and share their ideas and feelings. I don’t like “Modern Liberals.”

The “Modern Liberals.” have usurped the honorable term of liberty that has nothing in common with their activities and agenda. Lacking a grasp of reality, they have always been soft on Soviet Socialism and now actually soft on Soviet Fascism. All the good words describing “Classic Liberals” belongs to the people who call themselves Conservatives, who are for SMALL government. They are self-sufficient, they love the flag, country, and religion.  Contrary to them, “Modern Liberals” are apologist for a big government, controlling people and economy, as Obama has been doing during his entire presidency. They are using Stalin’s Political Correctness to do so in order to fool and mislead you.

The defrauding of the political names and their political titles had happened and this is the crux of the matter. I have some explanation of how it happened and proof that all negative development in our country has been caused by the ignorance of some and, perhaps, treachery of others within the “Modern Liberals,” we called them today Liberals or Leftist. I see a constant use of Stalin’s Political Correctness by them in both domestic and foreign affairs to deceive, fool and mislead people—a typical manipulation of the human mind.

In writing this series, I am trying to open up an avenue showing the way Socialism proceeds from a theory to reality, from the 19th to the 21st century. To a certain degree it is the avenue of politics and semantics from Karl Marx to Joseph Stalin. Semantics is a branch of Linguistics, it is the study of the word’s meanings and ways in which the meanings changed and developed. Stalin, by deceiving the world used it to create his own ideology of Socialism by preaching Marx’s postulates—the fraud, I have been presenting since the first article of this series. Stalin’s Political Correctness is the reflection and manifestation of his fraud to fool you during two centuries. Pay attention to Semantics—Social and Socialist are two completely different words: not all Social-Democrats in Europe are Socialists, some are.

Big Brother is Watching You

Eric Arthur Blair, who used the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic. It was around the 1930s and 40s, when he completed his brilliant book—1984. Living in the Soviet Union at the time, I couldn’t read it. The book was forbidden by the Stalinist regime. Coming to America, I was able to read it when my knowledge of English allowed it. And… I was stunned—that book was about my childhood and my life in the Soviet Union. The narrative of a communal apartment and its kitchen had described my exact life in Leningrad, and the smell of cabbage that has followed me since. The world classified the book as a fiction and satire, I would argue that– the book is much more than that.

All works of George Orwell presents a thoughtful and careful warning to the decent people of Western civilization. You wouldn’t argue that his warning is a thoughtful one, it is careful, because Orwell was writing and publishing his works at the time of Stalin’s butchery in Russia. I have an impression that besides the smell of cabbage, Orwell also grasped Stalin’s Political Correctness, which is a central issue of all his writings—a manipulated human mind. Fiction allowed him to create without a fear of being assassinated.  Don’t forget, Trotsky was assassinated by Stalin’s order in the 1940s.

Orwell knew Stalin’s character and his connection to the Muslim culture and Islam. Using his knowledge, he is definitely addressing the upcoming generations and that is the reason, I am reporting about Stalin’s time as a child of Stalinism. Let me illustrate my thoughts by using George Orwell’s words, which will remind you of your own life in America today:

In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

This was said in 1930-40s—during Stalin’s time, when I had lived in Leningrad. Look at my identification of Political Correctness: “To indoctrinate us in the Stalinist ideology, an arsenal of different devices was used: lies, fraud, deceit, distortion, and fabrication, perjury, and so on to cover-up the crimes committed and substitute the promising result with a process…

“… Political Correctness is a Stalinist policy, driven by the political agenda, a skillfully crafted design and a long-term strategy of war against Western civilization and creation of One World Government.”

Do you grasp the resemblance with Orwell and the reason why I am writing about Stalinism?

A malignant and Ubiquitous Ideology of Stalinism

Never underestimate the power of a symbol: Symbol plays an extremely important role in history and in our lives today. Stalin was and is a mighty symbol of power in Russia today. Below is a quotation I took from a chapter in my book that shows Stalin’s role in the creation of the Chinese Communist State and Russia’s activities in the Middle East. Pay attention to a tremendous symbol of Stalin and his ideology of Socialism—it plays a crucial role in the 21st century of the world and that is the reason I dedicated all my writings to that exact topic. Remember, history repeats itself, please, see the beginning of the chapter The Red Menace: From China to Jihad, in What is Happening to America, written in 2006, p.145:

“In accordance with my habit, I would like to return to the chronology in the Kremlin’s Foreign Policy of the 1950s-1960s. The next target in the agenda after China was the Middle East—to control oil reserves and suffocate the West. It was Stalin’s idea. He was the first to acknowledge a new Jewish State in 1948, hoping for another satellite now in the Middle East. When Israel turned her face to the United States, the Stalinist foreign policy had drastically changed—the intelligence forces, a second echelon, came to achieve world domination by hook or by crook. Stalin had tremendous experience as a commissar for the nationalities in the country of more than one hundred different ethnic groups. He knew how to deal with them, and pitted them against each other—it was his paramount agenda. Now it was the Middle East’s turn to experience Stalinism.”

That means a total indoctrination and a process of radicalization by Stalin’s ideology in the countries of the Middle East for the last 65 years—as a result the ideology of Radical Islamism was born. If you want to know how it was done, please, read the above mentioned book and also The Russian Factor. Yet there is another reason to present Stalinism to the world and especially to the young Americans who planned to leave the country, it is that—Stalinism is Soviet Fascism. Many young people do not know anything about the Iron Curtain, Cold War, or the KGB activities. For them Russia has changed to the better after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Wrong! Nothing has changed in Russia, Stalinism is the ideology of the current Russia with the same agenda—destruction of Western civilization.

The leftists pretend not to know that. But, I hope, you remember Obama’s and Hillary’s reset with Russia in 2013-2014. Look attentively it is again the tactics of delays, which provide Russia with time to organize Iran’s nuclear deal, I believe the entire issue was created and highly coordinated by Russia, behind the scene through Iran’s Rev. Guard. Read my description of an inextricable connection of Russia and Iran to achieve the Russian agenda to change the balance of power in the Middle East, making its proxy a major force in the region, regardless of oil’s prices going down. Iran is a huge market for Russian arms and equipment’s, which will compensate losses in the price of oil.

Only understanding Russia’s role in current geopolitics, we can answer this question:

WHY IS OBAMA ABANDONING 70 YEARS OF U.S. NONPROLIFERATION POLICY?

Never mind the finer points of the bargain being struck with Iran.

“Since the beginning of the nuclear era, scientists have understood that the exact same technology could be used to produce fuel either for nuclear energy or for nuclear weapons. The two methods for producing nuclear fuel, uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, therefore, became known as “sensitive nuclear technologies.” The United States has always opposed the spread of sensitive nuclear technologies to all states, including its own allies, and it should not make an exception for Iran.”  Tablet, by Matthew Kroenig June 15, 2015.

The answer to the question is clear to me—the old Soviet/Russian policy 1950-1960 of inflaming the Middle East and instilling the Soviet style leaders is alive and well. Obama is a contemporary conduit of this policy and due to this policy the world is more dangerous today than ever before—Stalinism and its Soviet Fascism is working around the globe in the 21st century. Political Correctness is used by all parties involved: America, Iran, and Russia. Watch how the Obama administration makes incredible concessions to two global sponsors of international terrorism Iran and Russia. The way the liberals have been soft on the Soviet Union in the 20s century, is similar to the way they are collaborating with Putin’s Russia today.

Some observes compare the Obama nuke deal with Iran, and betrayal of Israel to Munich’s betrayal of Czechoslovakia by the West. Perhaps, yet I can tell you even more. If you compare the Obama deal to Clinton’s nuke deal with North Korea, you will be surprised—they are identical. I have a suspicion that both documents had been designed by the same group of people. I haven’t checked it, because I believe that both have been designed by Russians. Do you remember the Russian military document dated 1955? The Soviet Academy of Science had produced the research. I am afraid that both deals with Korea and Iran have the same master- architects in the best traditions of Soviet Fascism.

In addition to that, I’d like to make another two points: Obama sold Ukraine to Russia as well. Have you seen the tactic of delay and procrastination in helping Ukraine? And the second one: it was Clinton, who did two things to the contrary to the American interests in 1994—he made nukes deal with North Korea and

prohibited carrying arms in the military recruit’s stations. Please, consider the results of both and many other Clinton’s “achievements” in 2015. Maybe infiltration of Soviet Fascism to the American soil had begun much earlier?

What does Jane Harman know about Soviet Fascism? I ask about Jane Harman because I watched her on the Fox channel in the Sunday Show, of July 19, 2015. I was surprised that the incompetent Democrat was chosen to answer the questions. I was even more surprise when she became a Director of the Center. Watching her as a top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee I knew how poor her knowledge of Russia was and the assignment to lead the Woodrow Wilson Center disappointed me. I am not alone having a negative opinion of her. Read what another person thinks about her and the Center.

“I wrote that last year in two exposés: “The Selling of the WWC” and “The WWC Desecrates its Namesake’s Legacy.”  They revealed that the Washington, DC based Wilson Center is violating its Congressional mandate and is up to its neck in tainted corporate cash. A leading Congressman, a Wilson family descendant, citizens’ groups, and many others agreed. One prominent journalist called the WWC “a global joke.”

The Marriage from Hell: Jane Harman and the Woodrow Wilson Center

By David Boyajian / January 9th, 2012

I am a grantee of the Woodrow Wilson Center and due to that, I have a connection with other professors who were researching the Soviet Union and Russia in their respective universities. They informed me that since Obama’s presidency the money for research of Russia or the topics connected to Russia are not available.

If you read the whole article, you will grasp my concept of the Obama/Putin joint venture. Yes, the Woodrow Wilson Center is “a global joke” and Obama wants to make all university studies of Russia a joke, a global one. As you can see it is something more than only concessions to Iran—it is capitulation to Soviet Fascism. All written is the results of multifaceted activities of American Democratic Party working in cahoots with Russia, the major sponsor of Global Terrorism. The leadership of the Party is making America blind, deaf, and defenseless.

I can give you a list of the Democratic Party’s activities against American interests, which are helping Russia in WWIII. This war is a forceful application of the ideology by violence. The recent sanctuary regions are the direct fronts against America. Show me the logical reason for the sanctuary regions at the time of war. There is none. Moreover, look at the hundred cities allowing protections for the illegal aliens, who violated our law. In the last year they killed 125 people. Look at those regions and cities, they are all runs by the Democrats against American interests. The brother of recently killed Kate Steinle is right: “The system failed my sister and evil killed her.”

Another example is the Planned Parenthood harvesting for aborted baby’s bodies parts to sell. Just listen to the doctor describing the process and your heart will bleed. Don’t you sense a smell of German Fascism in the 1930-40? I do. All Planned Parenthood centers are run by the Democrats. Of course, there are some decent Democrats, but the leadership of the party is adhered to the ideology of Soviet Fascism and to prove the fact, I am writing this column and making a logical case for you.  Unfortunately, the Republicans are not using that major fact, they also don’t know Soviet Fascism and the difference between Social and Socialist.

“As we have seen with the last election, resulting in a Republican-controlled House and Senate, things in Washington didn’t change at all. The socialist agenda continues, regardless of which party is in control. What is needed is for all voters who are concerned with the destruction of their country from within to recognize who the socialists are. If we are ever to really turn things around politically, we must vote for candidates who believe in the constitution as the basis of law and uphold traditional American values and morals.”

Read more.

I am afraid that some Republicans cannot assess correctly importance of the immigration’s issue. It is one of the major fronts in WWIII. The illegal alien situation has been a major problem festering in America for decades, yet “most Presidential candidates are afraid to address the issue because of the established political correctness machine in Washington.” Yes, I agree and addressed the topic many times. Look at Trump, he is the first candidate making the real discussion on the issue and none of the Republican candidates vigorously supported him, they have no idea of Soviet Fascism and WWIII—without this knowledge it is impossible to win the Presidency.

Trump actually exposes Republican’s weakness; they like the incompetent medical doctors are fighting the symptoms not the disease and The Red Menace grows and is fighting us—the killings keep going on. To win the Presidency the identification of the enemy and its moduse operandi is imperative– Knowledge of Soviet Fascism is a must.

I will end the column, the same way I ended the preceding one: A compromise is not a dirty word, a compromise with Soviet Fascism constitutes Treason.

To be continued at www.simonapipko1.com.

Razing the Bar: The bar exam protects a cartel of lawyers, not their clients by Allen Mendenhall

The bar exam was designed and continues to operate as a mechanism for excluding the lower classes from participation in the legal services market. Elizabeth Olson of the New York Times reports that the bar exam as a professional standard “is facing a new round of scrutiny — not just from the test takers but from law school deans and some state legal establishments.”

This is a welcome development.

Testing what, exactly?

The dean of the University of San Diego School of Law, Stephen C. Ferrulo, complains to the Times that the bar exam “is an unpredictable and unacceptable impediment for accessibility to the legal profession.” Ferrulo is right: the bar exam is a barrier to entry, a form of occupational licensure that restricts access to a particular vocation and reduces market competition.

The bar exam tests the ability to take tests, not the ability to practice law. The best way to learn the legal profession is through tried experience and practical training, which, under our current system, are delayed for years, first by the requirement that would-be lawyers graduate from accredited law schools and second by the bar exam and its accompanying exam for professional fitness.

Freedom of contract

The 19th-century libertarian writer Lysander Spooner, himself a lawyer, opposed occupational licensure as a violation of the freedom of contract, arguing that, once memorialized, all agreements between mutually consenting parties “should not be subjects of legislative caprice or discretion.”

“Men may exercise at discretion their natural rights to enter into all contracts whatsoever that are in their nature obligatory,” he wrote, adding that this principle would prohibit all laws “forbidding men to make contracts by auction without license.”

In more recent decades, Milton Friedman disparaged occupational licensure as “another example of governmentally created and supported monopoly on the state level.” For Friedman, occupational licensure was no small matter. “The overthrow of the medieval guild system,” he said, was an indispensable early step in the rise of freedom in the Western world. It was a sign of the triumph of liberal ideas.… In more recent decades, there has been a retrogression, an increasing tendency for particular occupations to be restricted to individuals licensed to practice them by the state.

The bar exam is one of the most notorious examples of this “increasing tendency.”

Protecting lawyers from the poor

The burden of the bar exam falls disproportionately on low-income earners and ethnic minorities who lack the ability to pay for law school or to assume heavy debts to earn a law degree. Passing a bar exam requires expensive bar-exam study courses and exam fees, to say nothing of the costly applications and paperwork that must be completed in order to be eligible to sit for the exam. The average student-loan debt for graduates of many American law schools now exceeds $150,000, while half of all lawyers make less than $62,000 per year, a significant drop since a decade ago.

Recent law-school graduates do not have the privilege of reducing this debt after they receive their diploma; they must first spend three to four months studying for a bar exam and then, having taken the exam, must wait another three to four months for their exam results. More than half a year is lost on spending and waiting rather than earning, or at least earning the salary of a licensed attorney (some graduates work under the direction of lawyers pending the results of their bar exam).

When an individual learns that he or she has passed the bar exam, the congratulations begin with an invitation to pay a licensing fee and, in some states, a fee for a mandatory legal-education course for newly admitted attorneys. These fees must be paid before the individual can begin practicing law.

The exam is working — but for whom?

What’s most disturbing about this system is that it works precisely as it was designed to operate.  State bar associations and bar exams are products of big-city politics during the Progressive Era. Such exams existed long before the Progressive Era — Delaware’s bar exam dates back to 1763 — but not until the Progressive Era were they increasingly formalized and institutionalized and backed by the enforcement power of various states.

Threatened by immigrant workers and entrepreneurs who were determined to earn their way out of poverty and obscurity, lawyers with connections to high-level government officials in their states sought to form guilds to prohibit advertising and contingency fees and other creative methods for gaining clients and driving down the costs of legal services. Establishment lawyers felt the entrepreneurial up-and-comers were demeaning the profession and degrading the reputation of lawyers by transforming the practice of law into a business industry that admitted ethnic minorities and others who lacked rank and class. Implementing the bar exam allowed these lawyers to keep allegedly unsavory people and practices out of the legal community and to maintain the high costs of fees and services.

Protecting the consumer

In light of this ugly history, the paternalistic response of Erica Moeser to the New York Times is particularly disheartening. Moeser is the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. She says that the bar exam is “a basic test of fundamentals” that is justified by “protecting the consumer.” But isn’t it the consumer above all who is harmed by the high costs of legal services that are a net result of the bar exam and other anticompetitive practices among lawyers? To ask the question is to answer it. It’s also unclear how memorizing often-archaic rules to prepare for standardized, high-stakes multiple-choice tests that are administered under stressful conditions will in any way improve one’s ability to competently practice law.

The legal community and consumers of legal services would be better served by the apprenticeship model that prevailed long before the rise of the bar exam. Under this model, an aspiring attorney was tutored by experienced lawyers until he or she mastered the basics and demonstrated his or her readiness to represent clients. The high cost of law school was not a precondition; young people spent their most energetic years doing real work and gaining practical knowledge. Developing attorneys had to establish a good reputation and keep their costs and fees to a minimum to attract clients, gain trust, and maintain a living.

The rise in technology and social connectivity in our present era also means that reputation markets have improved since the early 20th century, when consumers would have had a more difficult time learning by word-of-mouth and secondhand report that one lawyer or group of lawyers consistently failed their clients — or ripped them off. Today, with services like Amazon, eBay, Uber, and Airbnb, consumers are accustomed to evaluating products and service providers online and for wide audiences.  Learning about lawyers’ professional reputations should be quick and easy, a matter of a simple Internet search.  With no bar exam, the sheer ubiquity and immediacy of reputation markets could weed out the good lawyers from the bad, thereby transferring the mode of social control from the legal cartel to the consumers themselves.

Criticism of the high costs of legal bills has not gone away in recent years, despite the drop in lawyers’ salaries and the saturation of the legal market with too many attorneys. The quickest and easiest step toward reducing legal costs is to eliminate bar exams. The public would see no marked difference in the quality of legal services if the bar exam were eliminated, because, among other things, the bar exam doesn’t teach or test how to deliver those legal services effectively.

It will take more than just the grumbling of anxious, aspiring attorneys to end bar-exam hazing rituals. That law school deans are realizing the drawbacks of the bar exam is a step in the right direction. But it will require protests from outside the legal community — from the consumers of legal services — to effect any meaningful change.

Allen Mendenhall

Allen Mendenhall is the author of Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism (Rowman & Littlefield / Lexington Books, 2014). Visit his website at AllenMendenhall.com.

Black and Blue: How the State Brings Order

We need rule of law, not law and order by Sandy Ikeda:

Today, the difference between law and order and rule of law is literally a matter of life and death. Rarely has that difference been illustrated so starkly as on the streets and inside the courtrooms of St. Louis County, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York. The tragedy is that too few can articulate it; the terror is that too many can’t even see it. At least, not yet.

Rule of law

The rule of law is often contrasted with the rule of man. According to the rule of law, law should lie as far as possible beyond the arbitrary, unpredictable choices of public authorities.

But the rule of law also contains the idea that the law should neither deliberately privilege nor harm any individual or group. Legislation that aims at a certain outcome for a specific person is contrary to the rule of law. An edict that intentionally takes property from persons in group A in order to benefit persons in group B also violates the rule of law. The law should apply equally to everyone regardless of their status. But as F.A. Hayek pointed out, when the state attempts to impose any large-scale plan on its citizens, its commands must necessarily discriminate against some and favor others.

At the same time, those who believe government (that is, a monopoly over force) is necessary for a free society — to provide national defense, for example — but who also believe in the rule of law tend to support aggression under certain circumstances. One is tax collection, so long as it doesn’t target particular individuals or groups, and so long as the persons or groups benefiting from the tax revenue can’t be identified beforehand. The rule of law is supposed to constrain political power.

The rule of law implies stability and predictability. It weighs against expediency and opportunism in legislation, shifting this way and that as circumstances change. And it weighs in favor of governing according to abstract principles that apply universally. Laws that avoid privilege and favoritism (“rent seeking” in modern terminology) tend to do just this.

When government is small and nonintrusive, the rule of law may, in fact, promote a peaceful kind of law and order. But today, when governments around the world are anything but small and nonintrusive, the difference between law and order and rule of law has never been so stark.

Law and order

No one disputes that a certain kind of social order is a good thing. In general, rioting and pillaging are wrong. But when oppression becomes intolerable and peaceful forms of protest have been ineffective, disorderly conduct and even the destruction of property can be positive forces for political and social change. Think of the Boston Tea Party.

I think it’s safe to say that behind that level of oppression is the authority’s fear that it is losing control, a fear sparked by significant acts of individual defiance against authority. That defiance is usually against the authority of police, the blue tip of the spear wielded by the State and aimed at the heart of the most vulnerable citizens.

Ironically, the very chaos governments fear is itself the consequence of too much “law and order,” and their response is then usually to try to impose even more oppressive and unequal “law and order.” Think of the American Revolution. Think of Tiananmen Square. Governments equate order with control. They view society not as what happens when people freely follow their own plans, but as a machine that they must consciously direct, maintain, and occasionally overhaul, lest the cogs freeze up and the wheels stop turning. For them, society cannot order itself, but must be deliberately ordered by law — the law and order of a police state.

In a police state, no one knows how many people the police kill every year. In a police state, the police are not accountable for the harm they do to the same degree that ordinary citizens are. In a police state, the police have extraordinary privileges under the law that the rest of us do not.

The “law and order” of a police state is the result of surveillance, discrimination, and aggression. The law and order that emerges from a minimal government under the rule of law derives from privacy, equality, and peaceful cooperation.

ABOUT SANDY IKEDA

Sandy Ikeda is a professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism.

James O’Keefe on Government Power — Corruption — Arrogance

James O’Keefe exposes Department of Justice corruption in the Louisiana U.S. Attorney Office and the DOJ Civil Rights Division Regarding Landrieu, Danziger Bridge and other cases.

Project Veritas Action investigates the U.S. Department of Justice and their Civil Rights Division that has been involved in “grotesque” prosecutorial misconduct in cases against law enforcement. The same division, and even the attorney involved in past misconduct, is now investigating the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

VO #1: Was Senator Mary Landrieu’s connections to the U. S. Attorney’s office the reason I was so aggressively prosecuted five years ago?

(pause)

In light of new revelations…Ethical Conduct Complaints have been filed with the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board. The complaints were filed against former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann, Salvatore Perricone and the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District James B. Letten. An ethics complaint was also filed with the Justice Department against Karla Dobinski.

Letten: Listen to me, pay attention to me, listen to me, listen to me you hobbits. You are less than I can ever tell you.

VO #2: This is Former U. S. Attorney James Letten on the sidewalk in front of the Tulane University law School where he is an assistant Dean.

Letten: blah blah blah…(throws book at James)

VO #3: This wasn’t the first time Jim Letten has thrown the book at me. On January 25th, 2010, I was arrested with three colleagues by the FBI and
charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony. A charge that was well beyond the facts of the case.

Mike Madigan: It seemed to be an enormous overreaction to what happened. And relatively soon within the first couple of days, the prosecutors knew that this was not any terrorist activity and they knew that it was a politically related mater having to do with Senator Landrieu.

O’Keefe: We actually showed our real drivers licenses, each and every one of us./// I walked up to Senator Landrieu’s door, it was open, anyone could walk in, it was business hours. And I sat down on the couch. And then I said, and this was in the original FBI affidavit, I said to the secretary, I said, “I’m waiting for somebody.”

Letten: I didn’t prosecute your case asshole. I recused. I recused from your case…

VO #4: Letten did recuse himself but left the prosecution of the case to his number two Jan Mann. Mann’s personal connections to Mary Landrieu were well known, going back to when the two went to school together. My attorney, Mike Madigan believed that Letten’s entire office should have recused itself, primarily because of relationships and personal connections with Senator Landrieu.

Madigan: We looked at what remained as the leadership at that point in time and we learned quickly on that Senator Landrieu’s brother, who I believe the name was Maurice, was part of the leadership of that office with Jan Mann.

VO #5: Madigan wrote a strong letter to the Justice Department asking for the case to be moved to another jurisdiction but that didn’t happen. Jan Mann continued to press the case, in spite of the outrageousness of the charges.

Madigan: We thought it was a very large overreach to be using that statute in the first place particularly in light of the fact that it was obviously designed for terrorist activity and I think the prosecutors knew pretty soon on that that was not the case.

VO #6: The facts of the case were pretty straightforward if slightly ridiculous. In January of 2010, Senator Landrieu’s support of Obamacare led Louisiana voters to flood her office with complaints. The plan was to make an undercover video.

O’Keefe: United States Senator Mary Landrieu had said her phones were jammed. We thought it would be revelatory and ironic and funny and youtube worthy if we caught her staffers on tape making derogatory comments about the tea party. “Oh, let’s just shut those phones down so those tea party people can’t get through to us.”

VO #7: Two of the participants were wearing hard hats and reflective vests purchased that morning at a hardware store.

O’Keefe: We looked absurd, we looked like the Village People. In fact, they were dressed so absurdly that one of the secretaries laughed and said they obviously aren’t telephone repair people.

VO #8: No one was fooled and someone called the FBI. All four of those arrested faced felony charges…that Mike Madigan says, made no sense at all.
Mike Madigan: There was no criminal intent, there was no effort to commit a felony, no evidence whatsoever.

VO #9: But Assistant U. S. Attorney Jan Mann’s prosecution was relentless. And perhaps even unethical. Privileged…client-attorney emails were somehow released to the press just weeks after the arrest.

Madigan: The only place that that could have happened from was from the seizure of James computer by the government./// Well we thought it was extremely unprofessional, inappropriate if not criminal action.

VO #10: Madigan asked Mann to investigate the leaks but his letter went unanswered. It now seems pretty evident that there were a lot of unethical activities going on in the U.S Attorney’s office. Last year, five New Orleans police officers who had been convicted for a deadly shooting had their convictions overturned.

MSNBC News: In a 129 page ruling a federal judge overturned the convictions citing witness coercion, inconsistent testimony and a scandal in which at least three government attorneys were revealed to have posted comments about the case on line.

VO #11: They had anonymously posted prejudicial comments condemning the cops before and during the trial. The government attorneys were Jan Mann, Karla Dobinski and Salvatore Perricone.

O’Keefe: It also turns out that one of those U.S. Attorney’s was blogging about me.

VO #12: Salvatore Perricone used the screen name legacy U.S.A when commenting about my case. The day after my arrest he anonymously blogged, “sure they should be punished. Throw the book at them.”

legacyusa Jan 27, 2010 Of all the idiots we have in the Senate, why did they pick Mary. Besides, she’s hardly ever in that office, anyway. So why? Sure they should be punished. Throw the book at them. But why that office?

VO #13: On May 25th, 2010 the Mary Landrieu case ended.

O’Keefe: The government gave me three years of probation for a class b misdemeanor. It was very unusual. The case was handled unusually. Days before I was sentenced, a federal judge who usually doesn’t get involved in misdemeanor cases, made reference of an extremely serious crime I committed. He talked about acts of violence being committed.

Madigan: I have to say that in forty years of practice I’ve never seen a probation like that. It was extremely onerous, with regard to James. It made his life miserable basically requiring all kinds of things that I thought were totally unnecessary and that I have never seen before or since.

O’Keefe: I want people to know about this. I want them to know what happened here./// All of these people need to be brought to justice.

VO #14: Now, some five years on…it is time to set the record straight. Senator Landrieu needs to address these questions. And the prosecutors who handled my case, must answer for their possibly criminal or at least unethical actions.

Regulation of Lodging by the Market Process by Howard Baetjer Jr.

Does the lodging industry need government regulation? I don’t think so, and I’m more convinced than before after listening to a fascinating EconTalk conversation between host Russ Roberts and Nathan Blecharczyk, a founder of the lodging service Airbnb.

Blecharczyk explains that every Airbnb customer rates every property in which she stays for cleanliness, value, and the accuracy of its description on the website, and every property owner rates every customer who stays with him. Roberts then responds as follows (the emphasis is mine):

To a large extent, your trust system and the reviews that you generate on both sides of the transaction are the regulators. Right? So, the guest that came before me is the person who inspected the property for me. So in some sense the technology and the way it brings people together is a substitute for regulation.

I think Roberts is almost exactly correct here. The regulator of housing quality in today’s world is best understood not as a person or agency but as a process. First, the customers rate the properties; then, Airbnb posts the customers’ ratings; and then, both Airbnb’s prospective customers and other property owners react to that information. Property owners who would like to rent their properties via Airbnb are effectively forced to meet the standards upheld by the other properties offered, in order to win customers. That process of judgment, communication, and reaction is not “a substitute for regulation,” as Roberts says; it is a substitute for government regulation. It is a superior kind of regulation, provided by the market process.

Here are some of the ways in which it is superior:

  • Instead of being inspected every year or so, each property is inspected every time it is rented.
  • Instead of getting a cursory look-over by a government employee just doing his job, the property gets a thorough examination by someone with her own comfort and money involved.
  • Instead of being enforced by authorities’ restrictions on the choices of renters and property owners, standards of quality are enforced by those choices.
  • Instead of being subject to “capture” by the regulated insiders of the industry—hotels and motels eager to use regulation to suffocate these new competitors—this regulatory process is itself regulated (kept fair) by outsiders’ freedom to participate in the industry.
  • Instead of staying on the books for years after they stop making sense—if they ever did—the standards generated by this regulatory process are constantly being reevaluated, and they’re cast off as soon as they don’t make sense.

Airbnb’s collection and publication of customer ratings is something that every other hotel, motel, and lodging house is free to imitate. This freedom eliminates the rationale for government regulation of lodging services.

That rationale is based on “market failure” due to imperfect information. In the standard story, we need government regulation because lodging is not a repeat-purchase item, so the market fails to give consumers information on which to judge its quality before using it. Hence consumers might be taken advantage of, so they need government to regulate quality. Maybe that argument had some merit in days past—I’m doubtful—but it surely has no merit now. The quality of Airbnb offerings is as closely regulated as I can imagine it being.

Now that real-time customer ratings over the Internet are easy, governments should stop regulating hotels. The market process does that better than governments can.

ABOUT HOWARD BAETJER JR.

Howard Baetjer Jr. is a lecturer in the department of economics at Towson University and a faculty member for seminars of the Institute for Humane Studies. This article is based on ideas from his book, Free Our Markets: A Citizens’ Guide to Essential Economics.

Florida Mayor takes bold stand against Terrorism!

kguinn

Mayor Kent Guinn, Ocala, Florida.

Mayor Kent Guinn took a bold stand against terrorism on Tuesday, when he and the City Council rejected attempts by terrorist sympathizer Manal Fakhoury (pictured above) to marry the city of Ocala, Florida to Ramallah, Palestine via  Sister Cities International, a United Nations driven initiative.

A request to formally align the City of Ocala, which is affectionately known as horse country and the city of Ramallah which is better known for anti-Semitism and  terrorism was submitted by Manal Fakhoury, a Palestinian herself, as well as Karin Dean, Cindy Grimes, and Lola Gonzales in the official capacity of Fakhoury Leadership International.

Ramallah, is the Capitol city of the Palestinian Authority.  The P.A. was birthed out of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),  a federally designated Terrorist Organization which by all appearances changed its name in an effort to distance itself from its violent nature.

The  application which was meet with strong opposition and dated 10/16/2014 was heard by the City Council, on Tuesday 11/18/2014.  Some in support of the initiative to twining the cities of Ocala and Ramallah, showed up wearing Fakhoury Leadership International T-Shirts.  Those who spoke in favor of a formal agreement via Sister Cities International, framed the initiative as an attempt to to promote peace and mutual understanding.

Suggesting Ramallah as a stalwart city in any effort to promote peace and mutual understanding in light its long history of terrorism is a stretch to say the least.  Recent Jihadist attacks on Jewish citizens, attacks the Israeli Prime Minister attributes directly to PLO leader Mamoud Abbas who is headquartered in Ramallah add additional skepticism to Fakhourys’ stated mission.   Comments by Israeli leadership regarding recent attacks give a glimpse at the kind of influence Ocala could expect from such an alliance:

Prime Minister Netanyahu said incitement by Hamas and Abbas motivated attacks on Jews. “This is a direct result of the incitement lead by Hamas and Abu Mazen (Abbas), incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores. We will respond with a firm hand to this brutal murder of Jews who went to pray and were scathed by despicable murder.”   

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said that “Abbas, one of the biggest terrorists to have arisen from the Palestinian people, bears direct responsibility for the Jewish blood spilt on tallit and tefillin while we were busy with delusions about the [peace] process.”   (Haaretz.com, 18 November 2014)

Manal palestine yasser arafat2

Manal Fakhoury posing with life size picture of Yasser Arafat, PLO terrorist.

Manal Fakhoury, is a tireless activist whose long history ties her to individuals and groups whose stated mission is to impose Sharia Law around the world, to include the United States.

In addition to membership in several Ocala organizations, Fakhoury is board member of United Voices for America (UVA) a spin-off of CAIR, as well as the Capitol Leadership Academy (CLA).  Co-founder Ahmed  Bedier launched UVA after jumping ship just prior to Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) being designated a Co-conspirator in the largest successfully prosecuted terrorism finance trial in U.S. history.  Members of CAIR have been convicted of terrorism, material support for terrorism, and it’s leadership has openly expressed their desire to replace the U.S. Constitution with sharia law.   This is not a freedom of speech or 1st Amendment issue, but is in fact a direct challenge to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution and its supremacy.

Ironically, CAIR was designated a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) just this past week along with the Muslim American Society (MAS), both Muslim Brotherhood entities, while at the same time both organizations enjoy unprecedented influence in local, state, and federal politics.

Capitol Leadership and similar Academies have sprung up in over 25 states, following the model set by Manal Fakhoury and Ahmed Bedier.  These Academies were designed to train 12-18 year old “minorities” almost exclusively Muslim to learn the ins and out of legislation, lobbying, and running for political office.

According to “student(s)” we placed inside two of these week long classes.  Ahmed Bedier said “I want clean Muslims in office in the next two years”.  In light of this information, it might be worth considering the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood used similar operations to gain legitimacy, influence, and eventually the Presidency in Egypt during the so called “Arab Spring”.

The Gainville Sun, reported that Mayor Guinn displayed an article detailing these connections titled “Manal Fakhoury: Possibly the Most Dangerous and Influential Woman in Florida Politics“, as well as other pictures of her beaming in front of pictures of Mamoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat.  Mayor Guinn stated:

“These are things I am concerned about, are the ties of Ramallah, Manal, and this group of people like pictured there,” Guinn said.

He added, “I am not going to pursue having a sister cities, twinning relationship, whatever you want to call it, for a lot of reasons, this being one of them.”

Sister Cities International, is a U.N. entity which facilitates the twinning of cities worldwide, providing guidance, formal agreements, and liaison between twinning cites and federal and international bodies.

One of the stated goals; is for the twinning to be mutually beneficial partnerships between peer communities to include exchanges in the fields of culture, arts, education, trade, municipal management, health agriculture and industry to name a few.  In addition, Cities may provide Sister City Organizations with financial support.

Historically, the Palestinian people have been a “refugee” people who have had little to offer in the way of agriculture and industry on a global basis.  Almost certainly any support would be directed towards Ramallah and not the City of Ocala or its residents.  Other than art and culture not much is left in the way of a mutually beneficial partnership.

Manal Fakoury PDF FB GAZA Photo enlarged  hate jewsEven CULTURE is suspect when you consider the following point(s):

Islam is a complete way of life for Muslims; meaning it is all encompassing and there is virtually no separation between the culture, religion, or the personal life of a Muslim.

Shabbir Mansori, founder of the Council on Islamic Education which is responsible for virtually all Islamic content in America’s public school textbooks succinctly illustrates the Islamic inseparability between culture and goals of Islam in regard to his statement regarding  his work America’s Public School system.

“I am waging a “bloodless” revolution, promoting world cultures and faiths in America’s classrooms”.

Gainesville Sister Cities Director Steve Kalishman said 20 percent of Palestinians are Christian and there is no fighting going on in Ramallah. He said Gainesville has a “great Sister City.” as reported in Gainsville Sun.   

This is a standard Muslim Brotherhood talking point which flies in the face of the fact that thousands of Christians have had to flee areas under P.A. control with a steady rise in attacks since the Oslo Peace Accords.  Christian population has dropped from 15% down to only 2% since just the 1960’s.

In her arrogance, Fakhoury said  “I don’t think he knows what he is talking about,” Fakhoury said of the mayor. “If he really had any concern, why wouldn’t he speak to me?” in regard to Mayor Guinn.

She said the Sister Cities program is a positive one and that if any city needed a sister city, Ocala did. she went onto say “I really thought our city was better than this. I think people know me”.

She said she has worked hard for the city of Ocala, a clear reference to her relentless outreach and involvement in dozens of groups.  Statements which on the surface suggest that the backward, redneck City of Ocala obligated to oblige her based on she had done for the community.

 She went on to affirm her commitment to terrorism, saying “There’s a ton of support in the city of Ocala. I just didn’t bother doing it that way. But we will continue our work (with Ramallah) without a relationship,” she said.

Fakhoury called commissioners’ lack of interest “disheartening” and “sad.” She said there is a blog online by ACT Jacksonville that is smearing her reputation.

By now it should be clear to those seriously considering the information provided in this article and links, that Manal Fakhoury is a passionate and driven woman.  Whose drive and support comes with certain expectations which may be diametrically opposed to the health and well being of our local, state, and ultimately national body politic.

Riayd and Manal Fakhoury’s, impact on Florida Politics has been significant on both sides of the isle.  They regularly fund and host fundraiser in their home for various Governors, Senators, House Members and Attorney Generals with Hamas Operative Ahmed Bedier frequently in tow.

It is very refreshing to see elected officials who have the discernment to recognize a clear and present danger, as well as the courage to act in the best interest of the community despite the risk of being labeled a racist?, hatemonger, bigot, or Islamaphobe.

Hat Tip to the City of Ocala, Mayor Kent Guinn, Council President John McLeod, James P. Hilty Sr., Brent Malver, Jay Musley, and Councilwoman Mary S. Rich.

The New Frontier: Peer technologies are enabling self-government in the cloud by Max Borders

Today there is no territory left to settle, but human freedom is about to enjoy a renaissance.

Imagine we’re standing on a ridge. We look out on a valley awash in sunlight — surveyors contemplating a new city. We squint and ask: What will it look like? Will it have its own rules, culture, and commercial life? Will it be a bustling metropolis or a constellation of villages?

The Internet has only been with us for about 20 years. If the Northwest Ordinance and the Homestead Acts were legal sanction for expansion across the American continent, networking technologies are invitations for people both to spread out and to connect with others in novel ways. This opportunity has important implications.

For much of history, we have thought of the law and the land as being inseparable, particularly as the conquerors were so often the lawgivers. Not anymore. For the first time, jurisdiction and territory can be separated to a great degree thanks to innovation.

So many of the administrative functions of jurisdiction can increasingly be found in the cloud. It’s early, yes. The network is fragile. But we will soon be able to pass in and out of legal systems, selecting those that benefit us, employing true self-government. It is time to follow Thoreau, who in Civil Disobedience asked, “Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government?”

Already, we can buy and sell using cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. We can take Lyft downtown, bypassing obsolete local ordinances on the way. Google and Apple are selling us privacy again. These are just the first brushfires of a new form of social coordination in which technology itself makes it possible to upgrade our social operating systems.

Peer-to-peer interaction means we’re a nation of joiners again — on steroids. It seemed for a while we had lost the republic to special interests. But the hopeless calculus of cronyism — concentrated benefits and dispersed costs — is being flipped on its head. Internetworking makes it so we’re enjoying the fruits of the sharing economy — quite rapidly, in fact. Cronies and officials are finding it hard to play catch up.

New constituencies are forming around these new benefits. Special interests that once squeaked to get oil are confronted by battalions bearing smart phones. Citizens are voting more with their dollars and their devices, fed up with leaving prayers in the voting booth. Free association is now ensured by design, not by statute.

Technology that changes the incentives can change the institutions. The rules and regulations we currently live under came out of our democratic operating system (DOS). It used to be that these institutions shaped our incentives to a great degree. Now we have ways of coordinating our activities that go right around state intermediaries, corporate parasites, and moribund laws.

The incentives for social change are strong, so strong that the gales of creative destruction can finally blow apart much of the state apparatus, which seemed impervious to reform. And that’s a good thing for a self-governing people.

That celebrated old historian Frederick Jackson Turner summed up his famous treatise on the American West, agreeing — perhaps despite himself — that the people of the frontier had been moving away from hierarchy:

In spite of environment, and in spite of custom, each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity, a gate of escape from the bondage of the past; and freshness, and confidence, and scorn of older society, impatience of its restraints and its ideas, and indifference to its lessons, have accompanied the frontier.

But in 1893, as Turner wrote that passage, the frontier had already closed.

Today, the seekers and strivers have reopened the frontier, no longer a peculiarly American terrain. It’s a space beyond nation or territory — without end and without the need for Caesar’s imprimatur. As people start to gather there, there will be every form of vice, as in the past. But there will also be rapid advance and innovative wonders. Everything will be subject to continuous trial, error, and revision. And paradoxically, that infinite space in which we can spread out and try new things allows us to be closer than ever before.

We’re becoming cultural cosmopolitans, radical communitarians, and standard bearers for a right of exit. Most importantly, we’re freer than ever before. As my colleague Jeffrey Tucker writes on the workers’ revolution, “This whole approach might be considered a very advanced stage of capitalism in which third parties exercise ever less power over who can and cannot participate.”

In this infinite space, there will be little room for political progressives with big plans. They’ll find it difficult to impose hierarchy on the new frontier folk who will run among network nodes. The progressive program, as such, will dwindle down to what Steven B. Johnson calls “peer progressivism.”

Rejecting the dirigisme of today’s progressives, Johnson writes:

We don’t think that everything in modern life should be re-engineered to follow the “logic of the Internet.” We just think that society has long benefited from non-market forms of open collaboration, and that there aren’t enough voices in the current political conversation reminding us of those benefits.

Tocqueville couldn’t have said it any better. If such becomes the sum of tomorrow’s progressivism, we might all be headed for a great convergence, where once we were as stark and separate as red and blue.

MaxBordersVEsmlABOUT MAX BORDERS

Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also co-founder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

Sarasota School Board member Caroline Zucker politically attacks fellow board member during public meeting

open school board meetings

For a larger view click on the infographic.

Sarasota County Florida School Board member Bridget Ziegler introduced board agenda item # 7 for discussion during the official Sarasota County School Board workshop meeting held on October 21st, 2014. The item addresses the workshop meetings the school board holds off camera in a small room to discuss specific agenda items (see infographic on right). Ziegler wants the entire meeting, including workshops, televised in the name of government transparency. The meeting and discussion quickly turns political.

During the off line, but public, workshop board member Caroline Zucker attacks fellow school board member Ziegler about her campaign contributions. In the room during the workshop was Ken Marsh, Ziegler’s opponent for the District 1 seat. Marsh was subsequently defeated during the November 4th mid-term election. Ziegler stresses (multiple times) that the workshop is an inappropriate venue for conversations about her campaign while they are supposed to be discussing taxpayer issues concerning education.

Many question what does a discussion about school board transparency have to do with Ziegler’s campaign?

Board member Brown then says being away from the cameras is “the only way to have a candid conversation.” Brown talks about Ziegler’s campaign website. Zucker and Brown appear not to want to meet in the sunshine, i.e. be live on television for their “candid discussions.” Brown states 30% of Sarasotans don’t care about public schools. Superintendent Lori White does not want these meetings televised because “staff can’t get lunch or take a break.” White says “we don’t have enough staff to do the two shifts.” White says she likes it the way it is.

Brown then attacks Ziegler because the issue of holding workshop meeting in public is on her campaign website as an issue of concern. Brown then accuses Ziegler of wanting transparency from the board but not herself, because she will not release her donor list. Brown states sunshine laws “tie her hands.” Brown wants the board to come together, but does not want to do it in the open, live and on air.

Brown wants the board to come together but bullies a school board member at this meeting. Are diverse views not welcomed by Brown and Zucker?

Brown, Zucker and Superintendent White do not appear to want government transparency. Ziegler does. Listen to the entire discussion of the meeting:

FL, GA Education Ethics Differ on Sexual Harassment?

Based on primary source documents and information from the Education Practices Commission of the State of Florida and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, the penalty for a specific sexual harassment case seems to vary greatly with a wide range of extremes between the two states.

Former Miami-Dade County Public Schools assistant principal at Miami Central Senior High School and current principal/director with Clayton County (GA) County Public Schools Melvin K. Blocker received two vastly different outcomes stemming from a case of alleged sexual harassment from the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years.

According to the Florida EPC’s Final Order:

During the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years, Respondent served as a principal of a public school in the state of Georgia. During this time, Respondent sexually harassed a teacher. Respondent’s conduct included, but was not limited to, stating that the teacher “was the kind of girl [he] and [his] friends would have run a train on in college,” or words to that effect.

Respondent retaliated against the teacher for seeking conciliation of her grievances. Respondent stated, “teachers who went to [Georgia Association of Educators] about issues no longer work at [Respondent’s] school,” or words to that effect.

As a result of this conduct, Case PSC 09-7-11 was opened, and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission found probable cause against Respondent.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission and Respondent entered into an agreement with respect to Case PSC 09-7-11. On or about June 30,2010, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission issued a Consent Order suspending Respondent’s educator’s certificate for five days, from June 8, 2009 through June 12, 2009.”

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission did indeed suspend his certificate for five days, which seems to many like a slap on the wrist.

To Florida’s credit, the Education Practices Commission permanently revoked his Florida Educator’s Certificate on October 15, 2014.

Why the stark difference?

According to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, Mr. Blocker may indeed be in trouble given the teacher certification rules, which state:

The Clearance certificate is issued at the request of a the employing Georgia local unit of administration (LUA) to educators who satisfactorily complete fingerprint and background check requirements and do not have a certificate that is currently revoked or suspended in Georgia or any other state. All educators employed by a Georgia LUA must hold a Clearance certificate. There are no academic requirements necessary to qualify for this certificate. All holders of this certificate are subject to the Georgia Code of Ethics for Educators.”

Strangely enough, the Florida EPC Final Order states copies were furnished to other related Florida Department of Education entities but not to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission- unless a separate communiqué was sent and not mentioned.

It will be interesting to see what course of action the Georgia Professional Standards Commission decides to take.

A reasonable person may conclude that they would not want a female relative or significant other in Mr. Blocker’s employ or purview.

Though these incidents have occurred 5-7 years ago, has Mr. Blocker truly learned the error of his ways or have other incidents occurred and were covered up and/or repressed afterwards?

Time, and a thorough investigation, will tell.

The Government vs. the American Spirit

Over the past 50 years, the purpose of the American government has radically transformed. Whereas its main goal in domestic matters used to be to protect liberty, it is now an entitlements machine, transferring over $2 trillion per year from some people’s pockets to others.

Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute explains how the explosions in social security, medicare, medicaid, and other welfare programs are changing the American character for the worse–from one that is focused on individual responsibility and giving, to one that is focused on grabbing as much of the pie as possible.

EDITORS NOTE: You may support Prager University by clicking here. Free videos are great, but to continue producing high-quality content, even small contributions are greater.

VIDEO: The Truth About the Vietnam War — Are we seeing this happening today in Iraq?

Did the United States win or lose the Vietnam War? We are taught that it was a resounding loss for America, one that proves that intervening in the affairs of other nations is usually misguided. The truth is that our military won the war, but our politicians lost it. The Communists in North Vietnam actually signed a peace treaty, effectively surrendering.

But the U.S. Congress didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. In just five minutes, learn the truth about who really lost the Vietnam War. Compare this to what is happening now in Iraq with the expansion of the Islamic State.

RELATED ARTICLES:

VIDEO: Obama 2012 – No Troops in Iraq, No Status of Forces Agreement

Islamic State putting price tags on abducted infidel women, selling them in Mosul

Islamic State captive Abdul-Rahman Kassig’s parents appeal to Islamic State to show mercy and release him

White House confirms that Islamic State is holding former Army Ranger hostage

EDITORS NOTE: The featured video is courtesy of Prager University. You may support Prager University by clicking here.

Miami-Dade Schools: See Something, Say Something?!

On Monday, September 29, 2014, Miami-Dade County Public Schools unveiled their “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign in response to four middle school students bringing loaded guns to Brownsville Middle School.

Alongside their anti-bullying and “Do The Right Thing” campaigns, it smacks of hypocrisy given the retaliatory and punitive actions taken against me in my case stemming from Adobegate at Miami Norland Senior High School.

On April 4, 2012, I saw something and said something as Mr. Willie Gant, vocational teacher, told me of, and later showed me, a student confession and cheat sheets that lead to a massive case of standardized test cheating causing a vastly improved school grade and a payout of almost $250,000 in Federal and State performance incentives to Norland teachers.

Unlike the student involved, I was not thanked for my efforts but transferred twice and wound up in court.

As President Obama said on August 7, 2014, when he signed the Veterans’ Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014:

If you engage in an unethical practice, if you cover up a serious problem, you should be fired. Period. It shouldn’t be that difficult. And if you blow the whistle on an unethical practice, or bring a problem to the attention of higher-ups, you should be thanked. You should be protected for doing the right thing. You shouldn’t be ignored, and you certainly shouldn’t be punished.

Unfortunately, the M-DCPS hierarchy did not get that message as I was ignored for the most part and I was punished by displacement and other means as outlined in my civil suit even though I was correct as two teachers were disciplined with great disparity.

I am glad that the student fared much better though.

Then again, the cases are different subject matters but both are very important.

Given the actions of M-DCPS, a reasonable person may conclude that it is permissible to report gun crimes and related possible incidents but not test cheating where students, with teacher assistance, learn to bilk the Federal and State accountability systems that leads to better school grades and six figures worth of incentive payouts by the Federal and State governments for the benefit of school administrators and teachers with a blind eye from those in a position to hold those involved accountable but fail to do so.

Apparently, by taking adverse action against me, M-DCPS wants their teachers to be frightened and quiet.

On their internal Employee Portal where it has a link to “Report Fraud” they ought to put a disclaimer: “We really don’t mean it- and be prepared to sue us if you do!”

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of the Miami-Dade School District Superintendent is courtesy of WSVN Channel 7 News, Miami.

Why Floridians should Vote No on Constitutional Amendment 1

I know most of us have been very distracted over Common Core and all the arms that are attached to it, but we have a serious issue coming up on the ballot in November of which is a serious issue to every homeowner in Florida – AMENDMENT 1 Florida’s Water and Land Legacy Water & Land Conservation Amendment.

This Amendment has the potential to relieve every homeowner in the state of Florida of their own personal property.

Today I received the VOTE YES sides answer to those of us pushing for NO.  The state of Florida currently owns 28% of the Florida/Federal land which is far too much for a state to own. Not only that, Forever Florida, which had run out of money and Scott decided to replenish it, uses OUR tax dollars to buy up the land to then tell us we have no right to object to how the land is used. They under sell, under bid and if they have to use Eminent Domain to steal your property at will.

All of this falls under the United Nations Earth Charter/Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 platform. Thank you Bill Clinton! What they are doing is removing large portions of land from the tax roles which hurts the county involved. To make up their financial losses your property taxes will go up. When you no longer can afford to pay your property taxes, they will then take your land. This is the United Nations way! Not only that, the state is also in debt in this deal – using money first and worrying about where to pay it back later.

Not only are they stealing our property with our tax dollars, they are also still throwing billions of dollars down the toilet in massive road construction when the bottom line according to Agenda 21 is we are not to even have any cars to need these roads. Additionally, they are stealing what we have left in funds to force rail on the citizens for the same type of people as those getting rich off of the education of our children – Public Private Partnerships with hundreds of documents of which the general public cannot understand.

HERE is their Response Statements:

  • Amendment 1 does not create taxes now or in the future. No it doesn’t, however as stated above, the removal of the land from the county tax roles forces the counties to raise your property taxes to make up the difference. They plan to take 33% of our land.
  • Amendment 1 would dedicate one-third of EXISTING fees collected by the state when real estate is sold to protecting our waters and natural areas. Currently they are taking the funds from the General Fund (still using our money) and are intending to steal 1/3 of the fees collected when you buy or sell your property. There is no provision to cap the amount taken and it is still using our tax dollars and as with everything else, we have no say on how it is used.
  • The Financial Impact Estimating Conference – the state’s budget writers – determined that Amendment 1 would have no impact on state revenues because it imposes no new taxes. This is true for the state, but there is no mention as to your individual counties – they are the ones loosing the financial base by loosing the taxes collected by the loss of the land on their tax roles. Who is going to make up that difference – YOU! It is very nice of them to tell us this Amendment will help the state manage THEIR budget – but what about ours? Do they not have better things to be doing then creating a world of “conservation land” of which we are NOT even going to be able to use? What is our share of this crooked deal? Who are these people sitting on the Financial Impact Estimating Conference?

This is stating this Amendment will bring to the state $648 million in 2015-2016 and in 12 years increase to $1.268 billion. Do you think this money could be used in better ways such as a larger per capita amount for each child’s education and raising the salaries of our teachers – NOT ADMINISTRATION – they are being paid FAR too much – FL is Admin top heavy! It also states no local costs are involved but then they certainly are not going to tell you that they are messing with your counties tax base and eventual your tax roles will be cut so low – your taxes will go up.

Don’t forget California and how they shut their water off by having the control to do so and the farmers lost their food crops – some states are saying you can’t save rain water?  I really wonder where they got those 700,000 signatures to get this Amendment on the books and were every one of those signatures verified.

If you use Facebook, please go to “Vote No on Amendment 1” and ask your friends to also – you can all post your information and thoughts.

You might also find these links interesting:

Salaries of Elected County Constitutional Officers and School District Officials for Fiscal Year 2014-15

Revenue Estimating Conference Public Education Capital Outlay Trust Fund

Florida Office of Economic & Demographic Research reports