Healthcare.gov is fraudulent, deceptive and illegal

My good friend Lieutenant Colonel Orson Swindle, USMC (Ret.) was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission in 1997 and remained in that position until 2005. I have been friends with Colonel Swindle for many years.

The Honorable Orson Swindle asked me to remind us, the American people, that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal government’s principal Law Enforcement Agency for enforcing antitrust and consumer protection laws. The FTC deals with mergers and acquisitions, fraudulent, deceptive, and illegal business practices, and information system privacy and security.

In a National Review Online article by Andrew Stiles, former FTC Commissioner Swindle outlines a number of illegal aspects in the Obama administrations healthcare website (http://Healthcare.gov) and how the Obama administration has been promoting the Health Care law. He points out how the website runs afoul of Federal Regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Here are excerpts from the Stiles column:

Orson Swindle, who served as an FTC commissioner from 1997 to 2005, says there are a number of practices that, if HealthCare.gov were a private entity, would result in its being “taken to the shed and horsewhipped” by government regulators.

President Obama’s oft-repeated falsehood, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” — something the administration knew was untrue — would almost certainly be a textbook case of deceptive advertising, punishable under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practice in or affecting commerce.” This includes a “representation, omission or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer,” such that the consumer would be “likely to have chosen differently but for the deception.”

Other examples of potentially deceptive practices include the apparently deliberate decision to withhold information from HealthCare.gov visitors as to the actual prices of the policies offered via the exchanges. In fact, users aren’t told how much those policies will cost until after they have created an account, which requires giving a slew of personal and financial information.

Additionally, a recent CBS News investigation found that HealthCare.gov contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s gross violations of FTC’s and CFPB’s Federal Regulations are being ignored by US Attorney General Holder and the Democratically controlled Senate, whose members continue to permit the President to disregard Federal Laws, Federal Regulations and provisions of the US Constitution with impunity.

We are appreciative of the fact that Orson Swindle has pointed out these violations of Federal Laws and Federal Regulations by the President.

Orson_Swindle

Lieutenant Colonel Orson Swindle, III, USMC (Ret.), former Assistant Secretary of Commerce.

Orson Swindle’s impressive background follows.

Lieutenant Colonel Orson Swindle, III, USMC (Ret.) is a Vietnam POW who retired from the US Marine Corps in 1979. His military career is one of extraordinary triumph. On November 11, 1966, he was serving as a US Marine Corps aviator in South Vietnam flying his 205th mission, on what was to be his final combat mission, when he was shot down, captured by the North Vietnamese, and held as a Prisoner of War in Hanoi for six years and four months.

On March 4, 1973, LTC Swindle was released from captivity at the conclusion of America’s involvement in the Vietnamese War. For valor in combat, he was awarded with more than twenty military decorations, including two Silver Star Medals, two Bronze Star Medals, two Legions of Merit Medals, thirteen Air Medals, and two Purple Heart Medals. From 1981 to 1989 Mr Swindle served in the Reagan Administration, where he directed financial assistance programs to economically-distressed rural and municipal areas of the country.

As the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development he managed the Department of Commerce’s national economic development initiatives, directing seven offices across the country. In 1993, Orson Swindle worked with former Cabinet Secretaries Jack Kemp and William Bennett, former Congressman Vin Weber, and Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick to form Empower America.

He was the Republican candidate for Congress in Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District in 1994 and 1996. LTC Swindle was a former roommate of Senator John McCain’s in the Hanoi Hilton prison in North Vietnam.

The Honorable Orson Swindle’s full biography is listed on the “Leadership” page of the Combat Veterans For Congress PAC website.

TAKE ACTION: Speaker Boehner, install a Select Committee on Benghazi now!

I’ve joined family members of the victims of the Benghazi terrorist attack and more than 70 fellow conservative and military leaders in sending a letter to House Speaker John Boehner demanding that he install a select committee to once and for all get the answers and the truth regarding the tragic events of September 11, 2012.

There is widespread support for a select committee to get to the bottom of disturbing questions surrounding the attack, as H.Res. 36 has 178 cosponsors. Yet Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor refuse to bring it to the House floor for a vote. You have to wonder, is there something they know that they prefer not come to light?

We can no longer accept silence, obfuscation and inaction on this subject.

You can read the letter here. Please feel free to download and circulate it widely.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

RELATED COLUMN: Obama admin bungled Benghazi, could have prevented attack: report

Global Cooling Awareness Project Launched

The Orlando, Florida headquartered Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC), has launched the “Global Cooling Awareness Project” (GCAP). The purpose of GCAP is to draw attention to the growing concern among the world’s scientists and climate researchers that a new record setting cold climate epoch may have begun.

The GCAP will be a listing of science educators, researchers, and science-degreed individuals, similar to that of the Global Warming Petition Project started by Dr. Arthur Robinson in 1998 at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM). That decades-long project eventually compiled a list of over 30,000 professionals who signed a short statement that they were opposed to the concept of manmade global warming.

The SSRC has already begun to encourage the signup of the GCAP with an initial batch of mailings on January 1, 2014, to original Petition Project signatories. The GCAP is expected to take at least two years of consistent effort to reach or exceed the numbers seen in the Petition Project.

According to SSRC President, John L. Casey, “We have been deeply honored that Dr. Arthur Robinson has been so helpful in getting the GCAP started by providing the list of the Petition Project signers as well as his advice on how to proceed. There is no question that Dr. Robinson’s project has become one of the most visible and important counters to the deeply flawed concept of manmade global warming.

Now that global warming has ended and a challenging cold climate has begun, it is time to up the gain globally on preparing for the coming cold.

The SSRC’s December 10, 2013 edition of the Global Climate Status Report (GCSR)© for example, shows that of twenty four climate parameters we keep track of, eighteen now show global cooling as the dominant trend. The remainder of the set of parameters are expected to switch to cooling within the next five to ten years. It is vital that the world changes its focus from debating the now thoroughly discredited notion of manmade climate change, to the far more important subject of preparing for the approaching decades of what may be extreme cold weather.

“The Global Cooling Awareness Project is the next logical extension of Dr. Robinson’s history-making Petition Project. It will once more allow scientists and experts worldwide to have a voice in telling the truth about climate change,” notes Casey.

Dr. Robinson adds his own thoughts to the GCAP by saying, “The Petition Project has been a long labor of love and necessity to help tell the truth about the so-called ‘consensus of scientists’ that allegedly supported manmade climate change. The tens of thousands of science professionals who signed the Petition have clearly shown that the ‘consensus’ just like manmade global warming, is also just another politically motivated myth. I strongly endorse Mr. Casey’s Global Cooling Awareness Project and urge every science professional to lend their support to his cause. John like me, has endured the expected ‘slings and arrows’ for years from those who wants us to believe in something that does not exist so they can gain more power and control over our lives, all at the expense of scientific integrity. We need more researchers like John Casey, who are willing to risk everything to make sure the truth is told.”

Further supporting the launch of the GCAP is world renowned sea level expert, Dr. Nils-Axel Morner. From his office in Sweden, Dr. Morner says, “The start of the Global Cooling Awareness Project is yet another indicator of the quality and strength of leadership in climate research coming out of the SSRC. Recently, I helped coordinate an important climate research document that made a firm statement that the Sun and its interaction with the other planets are what drive climate change on Earth. Mankind’s influence is negligible. John Casey joined other world leaders in climate research to co-author that position paper. It has been my pleasure to have supported his efforts to make sure the truth about the world’s climate and especially the reality of global sea level measurements and sea level rise predictions, are properly told. I think we must stress that all forces must now be redirected to real problems in the real world, and leave the propaganda nonsense of global warming. But I don’t think we should substitute the global warming hysteria for a global cooling hysteria. Mr. Casey and I have both forecast a significant drop in global sea levels in the coming cold climate epoch. I hope that others will also accept that conclusion as well as the need to sign on to the Global Cooling Awareness Project.”

The Global Cooling Awareness Project is open to anyone with a hard science or engineering degree at any level.  To sign up for the GCAP, interested participants need only go to the “Global Cooling Awareness Project” page at the SSRC website. They then need to simply send an email back to the SSRC with the requested contact information and their approval of the following statement:

“I _______________ do hereby agree that the last planetary climate phase of global warming which was produced primarily by natural cycles, may have ended, and that a long, cold, climate epoch is now likely.”

Applicant’s names will be posted in the GCAP registry after verification.

President Obama’s “Climate Change” Lies

The extreme cold that gripped the nation at the beginning of the year just added to the growing public dismissal of the claims that “greenhouse gas emissions” would lead to a dangerous stage of “global warming.” Indeed, even the charlatans that have devoted decades to this hoax are now using the phrase “climate change.”

We tend not to recall what the weather was like a year ago. In May 2013, Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, noted that “Lots of us are commenting on the U.S. having the second coldest spring in the official thermometer record (starting ca. 1860) and the coldest since 1975. This cold spring highlights another climate cycle that has nothing to do with carbon dioxide (CO2).”

Records of cold weather are being broken all around the nation and the world. That’s not exactly what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been predicting since it was set up in 1988 to get nations to sign onto the Kyoto Protocols to reduce CO2 emissions, claiming they were causing warming.

We are all going to have to pay attention to what President Obama will have to say in his forthcoming State of the Union speech and other pronouncements about “climate change” because that is going to be a major theme of his as he begins the second year of his second term. Climate change ranks right up there with “If you want to keep your healthcare plan, you can. Period.”

Last February, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an extremely liberal group, wrote Obama to say “We are inspired and gratified by your commitment to address the threat of climate change. Still gushing, they said that the “science of climate change…calls for action to swiftly and deeply reduce heat-trapping emissions and better prepare our nation for now unavoidable impacts.”

If one merely refers to “climate change” without specifically identifying it, how can the UCS be so sure that emissions from our cars, trucks, manufacturing, and of course the coal-fired plants that, until Obama arrived, provided half of all the electricity Americans need and use. To save us all from the “climate change” 150 of these plants have been closed since he took office.

To replace them, the Obama administration “invested” in a variety of wind and solar businesses, most of which promptly went bankrupt with our taxpayer funds. To get us to stop driving, Obama advocated high-speed railroads in a nation where people routinely get on an airplane to get to distant cities. Amtrak has never made a profit since it was created in 1970.

The President, however, can be counted upon to talk about “climate change” as if recent examples of it threaten our lives. The facts say something else. For example, there has been NO global warming for over 17 years. In 2013 there was a record quiet tornado season and severe tornadoes have been declining for 40 years.

Other than tropical storm Sandy in 2012, the U.S. has gone more than 8 years without a major hurricane strike and the U.S. has experienced the fewest forest fires in three decades and, over the same time period, there has been no sea level rise on the west coast of the U.S. or Canada.

In contrast, an Antarctic global warming expedition of 74 eco-tourists, certain that sea ice there was melting, was trapped by it. In the summer of 2013, all manner of yachts, sailboats, and others got trapped by sea ice while trying to sail the Northwest Passage after being told it would be free of ice. It turned out that 2013 recorded the second highest volume of sea ice ever recorded.

It’s not that the climate is not changing. The climate—measured in decades and centuries—has always changed and it does so in remarkably predictable cycles. The period between ice ages is 11.500 years. We are overdue for the next one, though we did have a mini ice age from 1300 to 1850.

All this scientific data guarantees one thing. The President is lying when he talks of “climate change” by which he means a warming cycle. He is lying when he blames it on carbon dioxide which plays no role whatever in climate change. The $7.45 billion his administration gave to 120 nations between 2010 and 2012 to cope with “climate change” was an utter waste of our taxpayer dollars. Given the nation’s $17 trillion in debt, it was money we did not have, but which added to our debt.

Recall, too, that Obama refused to negotiate with the Republican Party in 2013 when it wanted to reduce such spending, resulting in the government shutdown that was blamed on the GOP.

You can forget about “climate change”, but you should keep in mind what the President is doing to bankrupt America and deny it the production of the energy it needs as the weather gets colder.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Why Gov. Scott Walker Has it Wrong: TEA Party Republicans Must Challenge the GOP Establishment

Below, you’ll read about Governor Walker’s plea for the TEA Party to leave the GOP Establishment alone. However, that’s asking the TEA Party to abandon their principles, which is unthinkable.

Firstly, let me define the term “Establishment” that I’m using: it doesn’t mean every GOP incumbent, but means those Republicans who have lost their way.

The Establishment Republicans have abandoned the core values of the Republican Party. They have become the political aristocracy, they who have become Democrat-light, they have ignored the Constitution to which they have sworn an oath to support and defend, they have forgotten why the Republican Party was formed so many years ago in Wisconsin, i.e. LIBERTY. The precious Liberties our forefathers fought for, the precious liberties many have died for, the precious liberties we must restore: individual liberty, political liberty, religious liberty, and economic liberty.

The TEA Party must challenge the GOP Establishment because not doing so would condone the status quo, which is unacceptable.

Scott Walker to tea party: Focus on defeating Democrats, not challenging Republicans [VIDEO]

CNN: Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker urged tea party activists Sunday to focus on defeating Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, not challenging Republicans they think are insufficiently conservative during primary season.

The potential 2016 Republican presidential contender appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Candy Crowley:

CROWLEY: When Republicans on Capitol Hill agreed to a budget agreement before they left for the holiday recess, Speaker John Boehner came out and really took on conservatives — tea party-types — for having an undue influence on some of his members that have blocked, famously, a number of things that we know that Speaker Boehner wanted to do. What do you think the role of the tea party is in 2014 in terms of Republican primaries or even moving into the generals? Are they on the rise in power or on the wane?

WALKER: Well, it’s hard to say because there’s no one monolithic group that’s the tea party. What I’ve seen over the years is frustration build across my state and across the country, particularly with the federal government, where people thought the government had grown too big, too expansive, too [much] a part of our lives and Obamacare was kind of the last straw a few of years ago. People showed up at the congressional town hall meetings, and when people didn’t feel like they were listened to, then they took out their frustration particularly in the 2010 election. I think that to a degree is healthy if it is focused in the right way. But one of the things I said after the budget compromise is for people who didn’t like it, who didn’t think it was good enough, the answer is not to take it out on House Republicans or in primaries, the answer is to go to Kentucky — or excuse me, to go to Louisiana or go to Arkansas, or go to North Carolina, or Alaska, where there are senators facing reelections as Democrats, and go and help in those elections and elect new Republicans to come, because a year from now things will be much different if Republicans hold the United States Senate. Don’t focus on the people in office; focus on those who you would like to replace.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker urged tea party activists Sunday to focus on defeating Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, not challenging Republicans they think are insufficiently conservative during primary season.

The potential 2016 Republican presidential contender appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Candy Crowley:

CROWLEY: When Republicans on Capitol Hill agreed to a budget agreement before they left for the holiday recess, Speaker John Boehner came out and really took on conservatives — tea party-types — for having an undue influence on some of his members that have blocked, famously, a number of things that we know that Speaker Boehner wanted to do. What do you think the role of the tea party is in 2014 in terms of Republican primaries or even moving into the generals? Are they on the rise in power or on the wane?

WALKER: Well, it’s hard to say because there’s no one monolithic group that’s the tea party. What I’ve seen over the years is frustration build across my state and across the country, particularly with the federal government, where people thought the government had grown too big, too expansive, too [much] a part of our lives and Obamacare was kind of the last straw a few of years ago. People showed up at the congressional town hall meetings, and when people didn’t feel like they were listened to, then they took out their frustration particularly in the 2010 election. I think that to a degree is healthy if it is focused in the right way. But one of the things I said after the budget compromise is for people who didn’t like it, who didn’t think it was good enough, the answer is not to take it out on House Republicans or in primaries, the answer is to go to Kentucky — or excuse me, to go to Louisiana or go to Arkansas, or go to North Carolina, or Alaska, where there are senators facing reelections as Democrats, and go and help in those elections and elect new Republicans to come, because a year from now things will be much different if Republicans hold the United States Senate. Don’t focus on the people in office; focus on those who you would like to replace.

Do Smart Meters literally make your blood boil?

This clip is an excerpt from Take Back Your Power – a critical investigation of the Smart Metering phenomenon and Smart Grid. More than 5,000 studies now show RF/MW radiation to be harmful to human biology, animals and plants. Acute and chronic exposure to RF (radio-frequency) and MW (microwave) radiation can, even at very low power-densities, lead to not only the negative health effects shown in this video, but calcium ion damage in cells, endothelial cell dysfunction, nitric oxide depletion, oxidative stress, melatonin disruption, blood-brain-barrier leakage, DNA damage, sperm damage and more. Glucose metabolism changes within the brain are observable after just minutes of cell phone use.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/y4JDEspdx58[/youtube]

The mechanisms for damage from non-thermal, non-ionising radiation exposure are now becoming clear.

Unfortunately, so-called “safety” thresholds maintained in the UK are woefully out of date and obsolete, permitting a deluge of highly-profitable, RF-emitting technologies to be introduced into our lives. Whilst attempts by campaigners in every country are being made to stem and reverse the tide of these environmental toxins, you can take positive action to protect yourself and your family by limiting your own exposure to RF and MW-emitting devices, such as Smart Meters, cell phones, WiFi routers and devices, wireless baby monitors, wireless alarm systems, wireless games consoles, etc

For more information on Smart Meters, visit www.StopSmartMeters.org.uk. To watch the Take Back Your Power documentary, from 5 September 2013, visit: www.StopSmartMeters.org.uk/film.

You have the lawful right to refuse a Smart Meter. Learn more here: www.DontSmartMeter.me

The National Debt in One Picture

“Congress is beginning its new year with a budget deal that busts right through “caps” it was supposed to have on spending. At Heritage, we want to hold Congress accountable for its tax-and-spend ways, even as Members claim there’s no room to cut,” writes Kelsey Harris from the Heritage Foundation.

A good place to start is understanding the mountain of debt Americans are already under. Check out and share our infographic below that puts it in perspective.

trillion.breakdown_600pxwide

Who are the Power Brokers behind the Common Core State Standards?

Many parents, teachers, educators and concerned citizens do not know who are the “power brokers” behind Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It is important to understand who is pushing this initiative that is a federal government backed top down approach to public school education. United Opt Out National has compiled a comprehensive list of the key power brokers, nonprofit institutions and corporations behind CCSS. It is provided here for your edification.

Through the U.S. Department of Education designated Race to the Top initiative, grants and other monies are given to states that adopt RTTT which requires them to adopt CCSS, use new high stakes testing such as PARCC or SBAC, and requires these tests to be attached to teacher and school evaluations which in turn foster the agenda of corporate-run education policies. (See ALEC at the bottom for more.)

Achieve was granted the contract from U.S. Department of Education to develop and manage the Common Core State Standards initiative including curricular development and assessment. NGA and CCSSO also lead the development and implementation of CCSS)

ACHIEVE

Who they are? According to their website, “Created in 1996 by the nation’s governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization based in Washington, DC that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments and strengthen accountability so all students graduate ready for college, work and citizenship.”

Key players: Lou Gerstner, co-founder of Achieve (Former CEO of IBM) and Craig Barrett, Achieve Chair (former CEO of Intel Corp.)

Funders:

AT&T Foundation (ALEC)/The Battelle Foundation/Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation (ALEC)/The Boeing Company (ALEC)/Brookhill Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Chevron (ALEC)
The Cisco Foundation/DuPont (ALEC)
The GE Foundation (ALEC)
IBM Corporation (ALEC)/Intel Foundation (ALEC)
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
The Leona & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Lumina Foundation (ALEC)
MetLife Foundation
Microsoft
Nationwide (ALEC)
Noyce Foundation
The Prudential Foundation (ALEC)
Sandler Foundation
State Farm Insurance Companies (ALEC)
Travelers Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

ACHIEVE partners with Pearson for most of its testing and curricular materials for the PARCC.

NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION

Who they are? According to their website: “The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors which promotes visionary state leadership,shares best practices and speaks with a collective voice on national policy. Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations.” Through their Corporate Fellows programs, corporations can donate money in exchange for greater influence over policies including those in education.

Key donors and players: In 2012-2103 Executive Director is Dan Crippen. Executive Committee members include: Governor Jack Markell, DE—Chair, Governor Mary Fallin, OK—Vice Chair.

The Education and Workforce Committee is led by Governor Dannel Malloy, CT – Chair and Governor Terry Branstad, IW — Vice Chair.

THE COUNCIL OF CHIEF STATE SCHOOL OFFICERS (CCSSO)

Who they are? According to their website, “The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions.

CCSSO provides leadership,advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.”

Key donors and players:

CCSSO Executive Director is Chris Minnich, President is Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts. The President-elect is Terry Holiday, Kentucky and Past-President Thomas R.Luna, Idaho.

NOTE: Chris Minnich is a former employee of PEARSON.

Corporate Partners include (but are not limited to):

AdvancED
American Institutes for Research(AIR)
Data Recognition Corporation
ETS (part of Pearson)
McGraw-Hill Education
Microsoft
Pearson Education/ACT (part of Pearson)
Apple
Intel Corporation
K12 Inc. (part of Pearson)
Measured Progress
Wireless Generation
Cisco
The College Board

See complete list of funders here.

A WORD ABOUT MCKINSEY AND COMPANY

This global management firm promotes the idea of “big data” as a means of global management and profit building. David Coleman, key architect of the Common Core, Sir Michael Barber,Chief Education Advisor to Pearson, and Lou Gertsner, co-founder of Achieve ALL have worked for McKinsey and Co.

CCSSO is proposing partnerships with McKinsey and Co. to take over management of Common Core and PARCC in several states after 2015.

WHAT IS ALEC AND WHY THIS MATTERS

ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Their self-described mission is to “promote free market, limited government, and federalism.” Through ALEC, behind closed doors,corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC. Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to approve “model” bills. ALEC’s subcommittee for education policy promotes legislation that attempt to privatize public education, destroy unions, replace teachers with computers and Teach for America temporary teachers, and use education as a form of corporate control and profit.

Names on this handout that have (ALEC) next to them now, or formerly, have ties with ALEC.

Public Sector Co-Chair of the ALEC Education Task force is Rep. Greg Forristall (R-Iowa).

Other powerful funders/promoters of CCSS who are members of ALEC include the Walton Foundation and the Eli Broad Foundation.

ABOUT UNITED OPT OUT NATIONAL

United Opt Out National, Inc. is registered as a nonprofit organization incorporated in the state of Florida.

Members of this site are parents, educators, students and social activists who are dedicated to the elimination of high stakes testing in public education. We use this site to collaborate, exchange ideas, support one another, share information and initiate collective local and national actions to end the reign of fear and terror promoted by the high stakes testing agenda. 

It only takes 33 minutes for a missile to hit the US from anywhere in the world (+ video)

The Heritage Foundation states, “It would take only 33 minutes for a missile to reach the U.S. from anywhere in the world. That’s a sobering thought when North Korea is taunting America with threatening video propaganda about its nuclear capabilities and Iran is advancing its nuclear program.”

In response to these threats, the Obama Administration announced Friday that it would increase the number of Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Interceptors protecting the U.S. from 30 to 44. These 30 interceptors allowed White House spokesman Jay Carney to state that the U.S. is “fully capable of defending itself” against a North Korean ballistic missile attack.

He didn’t mention that the Obama Administration has tried to undermine the long-range missile defense program since it came into office, including announcing the “restructure” of the advanced SM-3 IIB interceptor program designed to protect the U.S. and allies from a long-range ballistic missile threat. As Heritage’s Michaela Dodge explained:

When the Administration took office four years ago, it scaled down the number of interceptors protecting the U.S. from 54 to 30. This included cutting 10 interceptors in Poland and 14 in Alaska. The Administration justified its step by saying that the missile defense threat has not progressed as fast as the Bush Administration expected—this despite the fact that both North Korea and Iran have been very public about their efforts to develop long-range ballistic missile capabilities.

President Obama famously told Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev that after the 2012 election, he would have more “flexibility” on missile defense. Just last Friday, his new Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, announced a restructuring of U.S. missile defense priorities to focus more on Alaska-based and California-based missile interceptors. This shift away from commitments to deploy advanced interceptors to Poland and Romania is exactly what the Russians have been demanding.

Thirty years ago this week, President Ronald Reagan asked a question that is just as vital today: “[W]hich part of our defense measures do we believe we can do without and still have security against all contingencies?”

Watch Reagan’s 1983 speech about the Strategic Defense Initiative

To protect America, all contingencies must be covered. And as Heritage President-elect Jim DeMint has said recently, missile defense works. It works because the only sure way to deter an attack against the U.S. is to make certain it isn’t worth it for the attacker. As Reagan said:

“Deterrence” means simply this: making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States, or our allies, or our vital interests, concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.

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Today, The Heritage Foundation and the George C. Marshall Institute are co-hosting an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of Reagan’s landmark speech on missile defense and discussing the challenges of protecting our nation, then and now. Speakers include Ambassador Henry Cooper, Dr. Lee Edwards, Dr. Kim Holmes, Jeff Kueter, Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). The event runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ET, and you can watch online throughout.

Read the Morning Bell and more every day en Español at Heritage Libertad.

Marijuana is a Dangerous Drug: Let Children Know the Truth

It is a misnomer and a moral transgression to say that marijuana is a harmless drug. It is absolutely not harmless. I hope the teens are reading this.

Yet, as burning cigarettes were once a regular prop in movie scenes, passing a joint around has become the new cinematic norm, as though it’s cool, it’s safe and fun. Shame on the movie industry for glamorizing the use of drugs. That’s like glamorizing poison.

Shame on adults and parents, young and old, who openly use marijuana, giving it tacit approval by example. More than once I’ve heard, “My mom and dad use it, there’s nothing wrong.”

That being said, I would agree that new attitudes about decriminalizing marijuana are needed in this country, because we are constantly stuffing courts and prisons with people who are not dangerous to society. This gives many young people prison stigmas for life, just for possessing a weed that gets people high.

Using small amounts of marijuana is still illegal in 48 states. It is an unenforceable law, although pot is used by nearly 20 million people. It is the best example of how much the so-called “war on drugs” is a colossal failure. The laws and the policies have not worked. We need a new game plan — without jails — with the same objective, to deter the use of drugs, particularly by young people.

In a nutshell, here are the main reasons marijuana is harmful.

  • It impairs judgment for driving that cannot be detected like alcohol.
  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites long term use deters IQ, especially when adolescents begin using in the teen years.
  • Regular use causes lethargy, lack of ambition and memory problems.
  • Long term use is linked to mental problems, such as paranoia and schizophrenia.
  • Marijuana is addictive to people who have a predisposition to addictions

Casual marijuana is still illegal in 48 states, which results in the arrests of nearly one million people a year, giving them criminal records that affect their lives.

Gateway drug? Some say yes, some no. Here’s the truth: If you’re prone to enjoying drugs, marijuana will likely be your first, but not your last.

Colorado and Washington have passed laws legalizing small amounts of pot. No doubt, more states will follow. Nobody should celebrate these new laws, unless the states agree to use the tax funds saved from burdening the courts, cops and prisons, into appropriations for meaningful programs that prevent, educate and treat. That is essential.

We’ve all see how effective anti-cigarette campaigns have reduced smoking. The same should be applied to the use of pot, so that Americans get the truth about the harmful effects, too many to name in one article.

Recent studies show that 44 percent of eighth-graders think pot is totally harmless. And while 16 percent of eighth-graders have smoked marijuana, that number jumps to 42 percent for high school seniors.

Children need to know the truth and it’s our job as adults to provide that truth.

RELATED COLUMN: Study: Fatal Car Crashes Involving Marijuana Have Tripled – Now 1-in-9

2014: The Resurgence of the TEA Party

It is not looking good for the TEA Party and our efforts to restore America in 2014. The Obama Administration, mainstream media, major liberal advocacy groups and the GOP establishment have launched an extremely well-funded war against us

So, how do we compete?

Answer: We do what we did in 2010. The Bible says one will put a thousand to flight, but two will put 10,000 to flight. (Deut. 32:30) In other words, when we are united our power and effectiveness increases exponentially. The 2010 Republican sweep of the elections driven by the Tea Party confirms this truth.

Without mainstream media support, We The People used the resources at our disposal (internet, talk radio, social networks and a single minded purpose) to spread the word which inspired 1.7 million patriots to show up for a rally in DC. Incredible. Absolutely amazing!

Well patriots, it is time for us to work together again. In a single-minded effort, We The People must unite as an army fighting side-by-side determined to repeal Obamacare.

Obama said repealing Obamacare ain’t happenin’ on his watch. The GOP and many political pundits agree.

Meanwhile, Obamacare is wreaking havoc on America. I refuse to believe that the American people will sheepishly allow this evil and destructive behemoth, pushed on us via Obama lies and dirty political tricks, to stand.

Patriots, 2014 has to be our all hands on deck effort; getting as many conservatives as possible elected to the House and Senate; exploiting every opportunity to push back against the full implementation of Obamacare via lawsuits and more.

Also crucially important, we must stand by our TEA Party warriors; Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Sarah Palin and others. Courageously enduring unimaginable pressures from the GOP and the left, this is not the time to nitpick our generals for being less than perfect. We are at war!

In the early years of the TEA Party, I was blown away by the brilliant minds I encountered at rallies across America while touring on TEA Party Express. Patriots wrote books, conceived strategies, organized, wrote songs and more; all intended to take back America. We need that same intense creativity and energy activated to repeal Obamacare; stopping Obama’s vowed insidious fundamental transformation of our great country.

Our unified desire to repeal the monstrous Obamacare must be the catalyst for rejuvenating the early passion, enthusiasm and determination of the TEA Party. This is it folks, 2014 is the year of the battle to end all battles for America as intended by our Founding Fathers.

As for the odds, the traitorous GOP, the left and big money being against us, such has always been the case. The only thing different about the 2014 election is that establishment Republicans are no longer hiding their disdain for the TEA Party. Therefore, if we do what we did in 2010, We The People will defeat them again in 2014.

One last point. From its beginning, I believe the TEA Party was divinely inspired. How else can you explain mega millions of Americans becoming mobilized to act because of one man, Rick Santelli ranting about the size, irresponsibility and tyranny of out-of-control big government. Thus, I believe we have righteousness (the moral high Ground) and God on our side. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) This truth gives me peace and my spirit to remain upbeat and confident.

Patriots, your lives have been prepared for such a time as this. The TEA Party is the miracle cure destine to eradicate this evil cancerous tumor known as Obamacare, aggressively eating away at the soul of what it means to be an American. 2014 is the year we heal our land.

RELATED COLUMN: Britain’s version of Tea Party rocks political system across the pond

Disneyland moves towards a Police State?

Jacob Sloan from DisInfo.com reports, “Who says the Panopticon has to be gloomy? Children will be thrilled to find that Mickey Mouse already knows everything about them.” ANIMAL New York writes:

In an effort to give its theme park patrons a more customized, interactive experience, Disney is adopting the tactics of law enforcement agencies everywhere: giving out wristbands embedded with tracking devices and information about the people wearing them.

Uses for the wristbands, dubbed “MyMagic+,” range from the pedestrian–like tracking purchases and attractions visited, presumably to serve up targeted advertisements–to the surreal. If a child wearing a MyMagic+ band approaches a Cinderella mascot, for example, Cinderella could be automatically informed of the child’s information, so she can greet him or her by name. Fortunately, the devices are strictly optional for now.

“We want to take experiences that are more passive and make them as interactive as possible,” said Bruce Vaughn, Disney Imagineering’s chief creative executive. “Moving from, ‘Cool, look at that talking bird,’ to ‘Wow, amazing, that bird is talking directly to me.”

The Disney World website states:

MyMagic+ will allow you to take control of your Walt Disney World vacation like never before.

You can personalize your experience … and even your MagicBand. Best yet, you’ll have the confidence of locking in incredible Disney experiences—while having the flexibility to make updates as your plans change.

There’s never been an easier way to experience a Walt Disney World vacation that’s all yours. Stay tuned for more Disney magic yet to be revealed!

There is no indication that visitors may opt out of wearing MyMagic+ wristbands.

 

Detroit Police Chief: Gun owners deter crime

Who would have guessed that James Craig, Detroit Chief-of-Police, would say, “If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them.”

George Hunter from The Detroit News reports:

If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Thursday.

Urban police chiefs are typically in favor of gun control or reluctant to discuss the issue, but Craig on Thursday was candid about how he’s changed his mind.

“When we look at the good community members who have concealed weapons permits, the likelihood they’ll shoot is based on a lack of confidence in this Police Department,” Craig said at a press conference at police headquarters, adding that he thinks more Detroit citizens feel safer, thanks in part to a 7 percent drop in violent crime in 2013.

Craig said he started believing that legal gun owners can deter crime when he became police chief in Portland, Maine, in 2009.

“Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation.

“I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed.”

Craig’s statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR (760 AM), when he said: “There’s a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine.”

Read Hunter’s full column here.

RELATED COLUMN: Gun Control, the Jews, and the Third Reich

How Dodd-Frank is Destroying our Economy

Peter J. Wallison from the American Enterprise Institute knows that Dodd-Frank was “an illegitimate response” to the 2008 US financial crisis. Wallison makes his points in “The Case for Repealing Dodd-Frank.” He states housing bubbles are “procyclical” and notes while Obamacare has received all of the attention, “Dodd-Frank deserves a look.”

Wallison begins with, “The 2008 financial crisis was a major event, equivalent in its initial scope—if not its duration—to the Great Depression of the 1930s. At the time, many commentators said that we were witnessing a crisis of capitalism, proof that the free market system was inherently unstable … These views culminated in the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act that is founded on the notion that the financial system is inherently unstable and must be controlled by government regulation.”

Wallison then goes about examining the causes of the 2008 financial crisis, which he classifies as “the largest housing bubble in [US] history.”

Wallison notes, “Congress planted the seeds of the crisis in 1992, with the enactment of what were called ‘affordable housing’ goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac … Between 1991 and 2003, Fannie and Freddie’s market share increased from 28 to 46 percent. From this dominant position, they were able to set the underwriting standards for the market as a whole; few mortgage lenders would make middle-class mortgages that could not be sold to Fannie or Freddie … In a sense, government backing of the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] and their market domination was their undoing. Community activists had kept the two firms in their sights for many years, arguing that Fannie and Freddie’s underwriting standards were so tight that they were keeping many low- and moderate income families from buying homes.”

“Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was given authority to increase the goals, and Congress cleared the way for far more ambitious requirements by suggesting in the legislation that down payments could be reduced below five percent without seriously impairing mortgage quality,” states Wallison. This was a false premise and led to the 2008 financial meltdown.

Wallison concludes, “If the American people come to recognize that the financial crisis was caused by the housing policies of their own government—rather than insufficient regulation or the inherent instability of the U.S. financial system—Dodd-Frank will be seen as an illegitimate response to the crisis. Only then will it be possible to repeal or substantially modify this repressive law.”

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton in her article “An American Depression: Extreme Haircut Edition” warns, “Americans know deep inside that things are very dire indeed and getting worse by the second. Overwhelmingly, they no longer believe the economic numbers from the government. Lies – all lies and propaganda. Instead of the breadlines of the last Great Depression, we have EBT Cards, providing the hungry with food. For those who have now been unemployed for years in The Greatest Depression, it doesn’t cut it.”

Monroe-Hamilton notes, “Much of the Western world will require defaults, a savings tax and higher inflation to clear the way for recovery as debt levels reach a 200-year high, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund.”

Will we see another financial meltdown in 2014?

ABOUT  PETER J. WALLISON

Peter J. Wallison holds the Arthur F. Burns Chair in Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Previously he practiced banking, corporate, and financial law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., and in New York. He also served as White House Counsel in the Reagan Administration. A graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Wallison received his law degree from Harvard Law School and is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, among many other publications. He is the editor, co-editor, author, or co-author of numerous books, including Ronald Reagan: The Power of Conviction and the Success of His Presidency and Bad History, Worse Policy: How a False Narrative about the Financial Crisis Led to the Dodd-Frank Act.

Top Twelve Things that Didn’t Happen in 2013

Here are our Top Twelve Things that Didn’t Happen in 2013:

  1. November designated Ignorance Awareness Month; apathetic public doesn’t care
  2. Space-time expansion accelerates; clock faces change to 13 hours
  3. Y2K finally kicks in, is blamed for healthcare.gov glitches
  4. Rhetoric reaches tipping point, grows exponentially, hits wall, goes over cliff, crashes and burns
  5. Newer Testament released, Commandments replaced with Executive Orders
  6. Government worker discovers untapped debt hidden in Capitol’s debt ceiling
  7. Post-modern era ends, neo-post-retro-revival era begins
  8. Hell’s Angels sue Wall Street to get 1% label back, Wall Street retaliates by selling Harley-Davidson to China
  9. More climate data lost due to a growing number and intensity of memory holes
  10. To raise revenue government begins charging for formerly free speech
  11. Tired old clichés replaced with fresh new clichés
  12. Earth’s magnetic field reverses, the South rises again

Things not likely to happen in 2014:

  • A headline that reads “Government program ends as its intended goal has been achieved.”

What is likely to happen in 2014:

  • All numbers will be in binary and ahl speling wil bee dun funnetiklee.

Hahpee 11101101010, komradz!