"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." -- JP Curran, 1790

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Offering Common Sense

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Offering Common Sense announced some time ago that there would be changes to improve content for the greatest, most informed readers in the blogosphere! Those changes are now imminent. The new domain name has been purchased, and we are now working on our web design to bring you even more hard-hitting conservative commentary. You can check out our progress at www.offeringcommonsense.com, and once the site is complete, you'll get the best of this blogspot site, and our wordpress mirror site!

More to come! Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pres. Obama Gets It Right

President Obama gave the order to use force to rescue the American hostage, and the US Navy successfully carried out the operation. They both deserve credit for a job well done in this case. It is important now that the United States declares war on Somali piracy, and end this threat to American interests. Write your Representatives and Senators and demand a War Declaration! Sphere: Related Content

Capt. Phillips FREED!

Happy Easter everyone. It looks like first reports are now coming in that the American hostage to the pirates was freed today by a Navy operation. Three Somali pirates were killed, and the 4th was injured and is in custody! Capt. Phillips is unharmed according to Foxnews. This is the best possible outcome, and it's good to see that the military was able to take swift action. They missed the first chance to get Phillips, but it sounds like the heroic Captain made a second attempt. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Navy Turned Back by Pirates?!

Read this.

Is the Navy under orders not to shoot, or are they just making sure they don't hit the hostage? Inquiring minds want to know.

Either way, this is an even bigger act of war, and we have NO WAR DECLARATION FROM CONGRESS and a President who is eerily SILENT on the issue. Sphere: Related Content

Things that make you go...What the HELL?!

Where's all of that good will that Pres. Obama was supposed to get together from the world community? I seem to recall that North Korea tested a long-range missile, despite our warnings and everyone's objections, but I see no threatening UN Security Council resolutions coming into play?

Where are the two American journalists who were captured on the North Korean border, supposedly as an insurance policy against our intervention? Shouldn't we be hearing something about that, about now? Should we not threaten military action against Pyongyang, if we don't see our citizens returned, unharmed?

What is it about liberals (and not-far-right-enough Conservatives) who try to reason with tyrants? Remember the Cold War? Reagan had it right when he called a spade a spade, and said he would defend our nation, and build the military to levels that the Soviets just couldn't match. In retrospect, short of a nuclear war, we could have put tanks in Moscow in the 1970's and toppled the communist regime if we'd had the gumption. North Korea is no Soviet Union, neither is China. Perhaps we should call their bluff, and have a little less talk, and a lot more action.

So the pirates are sending reinforcements? Are you kidding me? Is it just me, or are the Somali terrorists of the seas keenly aware that we now have a liberal head of government, in the spirit of Jimmy Carter, who will try to acquiesce and wait for UN response? This is an act of war, and I'm surprised to see that not even our Republican leaders have even started a war resolution.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R, CO - 5), as my representative, I urge you to begin drafting a war resolution against Somalia for their implicit support of the lawless regimes that wreak havoc on the seas, and free trade. Do we need another Lucitania, a Pearl Harbor, or even worse, a 9/11 to go to war?

Remember when President Bush said that Iran was a threat, and that he expected them to accept their wrongdoing before coming to the international table? Well, since Pres. Obama has come on the scene, they've made a mockery of him, and made him look foolish and naieve. They now have 7,000 centrifuges humming away to produce material for nuclear bombs, and if the U.S. (and even Israel) won't do anything now, what do you think they will do if Iran can nuke Europe?

The world is always spinning out of control, and "the war" is every single day. There are always groups out to kill us, and there are always forces out there seeking to create chaos and fear. The United States stands alone as the watchman and protector of civility and freedom. While we are not everywhere, and we have not freed everyone, we have done more good than harm (far more), and I believe firmly that this trend (in the long run) will continue. Unfortunately, we now have a government that seeks to build consensus, where none can exist. Sometimes people are just wrong, and the tyrants of North Korea and Iran are just plain wrong here. The Somali pirates (pirates are terrorist with boats, just so you put this into proper perspective) are wrong, too.

President Clinton's inaction during the 1990's to numerous terrorist attacks on US soil and interests, helped to embolden the terrorists which culminated in the 9/11 attack. Will President Obama repeat these mistakes? Sphere: Related Content

You want free speech or press? Sign this form first!

From time to time I like to point out to you that seeminginly innocuous stories actually pose more of a threat than is reported by the mainstream press. Here's a prime example.

A journalist was stopped by Department of Veterans Affairs security guards when their public affairs person complained that he was trying to interview a patient. He was strong-armed and had his memory stick (with the recording of the interview) 'detained' by the officials because the VA wanted to "protect" the patient. The patient was not a minor child, and was willingly giving the interview. So just what was the VA's problem? A form wasn't signed.

Taken at face value this seems like a non-issue. Well why didn't he just sign the form, then, you might ask. What's the harm in that? I'll tell you. By even daring to have the form in the first place, the VA is presuming to have some say in the Constitutional matters of free speech and the free press. It's as if they're saying, "Well, we agree in your freedoms, but before we grant them, you must sign here." That completely defeats the purpose of the Constitution, just in case you weren't aware. Our founders granted us no rights. They never gave us free speech, the right to bear arms, or anything of the sort. What the founders did was put their necks out, take a stand against an empire, and say that we have inherent rights from God b/c we exist. Those rights apply whether or not the VA chooses to accept it.

This is the kind of thing you need to watch, ladies and gentlemen. Don't let any government agency presume to tell you that your rights only apply if they say so. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Belle-Belle

My youngest of 5 just turned one today. She is the spitting image of her older sister (who is 5), but she has her own funny personality, too. We just call her Belle Belle, but she is definitely a happy baby!

Sphere: Related Content

President Declines to Comment on Pirates

Apparently the President of the United States doesn't feel that the first pirate hijacking of an American vessel in 205 years doesn't warrant his time or efforts...I mean after all, they are "monitoring" the situation, isn't that good enough for you people?!

For those of you who don't think this is a serious issue, you'd better look again. Consider that for your entire lifetime, and the lifetimes of your parents and grandparents (and even further back depending on your age) pirates dared not mess with the United States. Our clout and military might meant that if you were a citizen of this nation, that pays taxes in this country, elects your own representation, and flies the stars and stripes on your vessel, you were probably safe from this type of terrorism.

We know what is says about the Somali terrorists that they are stupid enough to attack an American ship, but what does it say about our President that he has "no comment" to an act of war?! Are we going to tolerate another Bill Clinton-style policy of waiting, reacting with useless words, and appealing to the United Nations for our own national security? Do any of you remember the night after the first WTC bombings when Pres. Clinton, rather than declare war on those who would kill Americans and commit terrorist acts on our own soil, called the matter a law enforcement issue...as if you could arrest and prosecute bits and pieces of what remains of a suicide bomber.

Pres. Jefferson had it right, and he sent the military to take care of pirates. Pres. Obama has no comment. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WAR!


News reports this morning spoke of an apparent hijacking of an American vessel by Somali pirates. A few hours ago the only thing we heard from the White House was that they were "monitoring the situation." That's the best our own President can do? Monitoring is what you do when you're a government bureaucrat concerned with seeing the hit you might take in the polls, rather than someone who has any real responsibility to ACT. We heard that the nearest U.S. Navy vessel was en route...one has to wonder whether this was something the commander of the ship took upon him/herself, or if this was an order from the SECDEF or POTUS. One can only hope.

In all of the recent reports of various vessels being hijacked by Somalis, none had actually targeted an American-flagged ship with an American crew. World Wars have started for less offensive acts, and all our government can do is "monitor." Our government is shifting to a groveling, useless entity that seeks only to ridicule private citizens like the Harvard Law student that dared to question Rep. Frank's sense of responsibility (or lack thereof) for our current situation, and tax productivity, thereby driving out business to actual business-friendly nations (no, the United States is not on that list any longer).

Still, while the American government has shifted to the ostrich approach of seeing threats, while sounding alarms all over the place about free enterprise, the American spirit is not dead. Reports are now trickling in (here) that the American crew has RETAKEN THE SHIP! First reports are often sketchy, but hopefully we can be soon assured of the safety of the American crew, and I sincerely hope that the pirates that got away did so swimming for their lives under a barrage of bullets!

While we may wake up tomorrow to find the accounts to be inaccurate, if the pirates did attack an American vessel, it is clearly an act o war. I fully expect my Representative and others in the Congress to investigate the reports we've seen today. If they find the reports are true, a declaration of war should be imminent.

We've come through a lot in this nation. We've fought against the greatest empire on the planet to earn our independence, we've nearly torn each other apart (and I must say the biggest black eyes we ever got as a nation at war was when we fought ourselves...no one matches our military might), and we've come through 2 World Wars, a Great Depression, multiple recessions, a Cold War, and so much more.

We are still Americans. We hunt, fish, farm, fight, fly to the moon, create great technology, and kick anyone's ass who wants to threaten our freedoms. The rest of the world would do well to remember that. To those who would do us harm, don't take much comfort in our new liberal government...liberal governments are fleeting, but the American spirit is eternal. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cybersecurity and You!

As I seek a balance between productively working on my thesis (M.S. in Information Assurance) and writing about the ineptitude of our elected leaders, I find myself with a story that fits nicely between the two worlds. The CyberSecurity Act of 2009, introduced by Sen. Rockefeller, a few other Democrats, and, of course, Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine (RINO*), is just another example of our elected leaders looking for excuses to encroach upon private enterprise. While I acknowledge the need for a greater need for a focus on cybersecurity for not only critical assets (power grids, nuclear reactors, military forces, etc), asking the government to do so is about like asking your dog to perform brain surgery...in either case it probably won't end well.

More important than this single bill, is the trend that our elected leaders have shown over the past few months of the Obama Administration. We see bailout after bailout, a government that refuses to accept their money back (I mean come on, if the banks pay that money back how will the government control them without declaring all-out communism?), and czar after czar for almost every aspect of our lives! Seriously, did Russia have that many czars?!

At issue here is the difference between a reason and an excuse. If you have a reason to act, you're acting to solve a problem. If the North Koreans bomb Hawaii, we'd have a reason to declare war. If the North Koreans bomb Hawaii, and hit a telephone poll, we would not have a reason to suddenly take over all of the telecommunications industry and make them a public government agency...I suspect the Democrats and Sen. Snowe would be on board with that.

You need to seriously ask yourself what the true intent of each new piece of legislation is that comes out of Washington, D.C. Ignore their words, and read the legislation! They'll always call it the "save the babies from corporate fatcats act" or "fluffy bunnies and kitties act" in hopes that you won't get past the title page...get past the title page, people. Do you really think the government is trying to save industry or jobs? Do you think they want to protect your tax dollars as if it were their own money? If that were the case, why is the President refusing to accept repayment of TARP funds? That's a huge question that I haven't heard a good answer to just yet. Why on earth would you not accept repayment? There's only one logical conclusion... Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Garrett!

My little man is 3 years old today (well Saturday that is)! Garrett is 100% boy, as you can tell from the brief slideshow, and he's always been our little athlete. I usually tell my wife that 2 is my favorite age, but I think all of the kids are great at various ages. Garrett is inquisitive, tough, and a ton of fun, and he's a good big brother to his baby sister, as well as a good little brother to his other two sisters and his big brother! He gives tons of hugs and kisses, but he's also nearly broken my nose (accidentally of course).

Happy Birthday buddy!


Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Unemployment, inflation, trillions of dollars in debt and going deeper, N.Korea Launcing a Missile, China balking at the Dollar, and the BCS


Based on the items in the title, what would you focus on if you were a member of Congress or the President? We have a group of 'leaders' that don't even bother to read the legislation that they cram down the nation's throat, but they sure as heck can debate the validity of the Bowl Championship Series! Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the type of thing you look at when you have settled the debt, are in the green, and have achieved military victory everywhere in peacetime. We're not there yet, so why is Congress wasting everyone's time with this? I agree that the BCS is a farce, and that we could stand for a national playoff system in College Football...I'd love to see that. However, I'm not sure what the federal government has to do with it. The simple fact is, and you should REALLY pay attention here, is that the federal government has to do with whatever it feels like. That should concern you just a bit.

Read the story here. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Republicans Who Vote Like Liberals

In Political Science we often hear about the disparity between the philosophies of elected leaders. They are known as the trustees and the delegates, and such categorizing has nothing to do with party affiliation. The trustee will come to office and vote according to his or her convictions. The delegate, however, will only vote for what is popular, and try to do nothing to lose votes for the next election cycle.

While it's difficult to blame one party's ideology for being full of delegates v. trustees, I've found that the "big tent" of the Democratic party, coupled with their love of government interventionism and lack of logic, contributes to a philosophy and a platform that is nothing more than a house of cards, big on style, little on substance. Pres. Clinton was notorious for juxtaposing his ideology based on the latest public opinion polls, and we saw an extremely different Bill Clinton in 1995 than we saw in 1993, based on the citizen's revolt against government oppression into every caveat of our lives.

Today citizens are outraged, and not the phony outrage of hypocritical Congressmen who vote for a bill that they don't even read and then don't like the bad press they get as a result, but true blood-boiling outrage. Bags of tea are pouring into our harbors, rivers, and oceans, and the handles are being mailed to Washington as a symbol of our defiance. This is a Conservative movement, but it is only part 1 of the peaceful revolution that is taking place.

Part 2 begins now.

We need to purge the party of the followers, and the ones who vote based on opinion polls, rather than their convictions, and a respect for our Constitution. The following Republicans voted to tax a handful of private individuals in H.R. 1586 (Is your Representative Here?):


Rep. Robert Aderholt [R, AL-4]
Rep. Rodney Alexander [R, LA-5]
Rep. Joe Barton [R, TX-6]
Rep. Judy Biggert [R, IL-13]
Rep. Brian Bilbray [R, CA-50]
Rep. Gus Bilirakis [R, FL-9]
Rep. Roy Blunt [R, MO-7]
Rep. Mary Bono Mack [R, CA-45]
Rep. John Boozman [R, AR-3]
Rep. Henry Brown [R, SC-1]
Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite [R, FL-5]
Rep. Vern Buchanan [R, FL-13]
Rep. Ken Calvert [R, CA-44]
Rep. David Camp [R, MI-4]
Rep. Eric Cantor [R, VA-7]
Rep. Anh Cao [R, LA-2]
Rep. Shelley Capito [R, WV-2]
Rep. Bill Cassidy [R, LA-6]
Rep. Michael Castle [R, DE-0]
Rep. Ander Crenshaw [R, FL-4]
Rep. Geoff Davis [R, KY-4]
Rep. Charles Dent [R, PA-15]
Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart [R, FL-21]
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart [R, FL-25]
Rep. John Duncan [R, TN-2]
Rep. Vernon Ehlers [R, MI-3]
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]
Rep. John Fleming [R, LA-4]
Rep. James Forbes [R, VA-4]
Rep. Jeffrey Fortenberry [R, NE-1]
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen [R, NJ-11]
Rep. Elton Gallegly [R, CA-24]
Rep. Jim Gerlach [R, PA-6]
Rep. Robert Goodlatte [R, VA-6]
Rep. Brett Guthrie [R, KY-2]
Rep. Dean Heller [R, NV-2]
Rep. Walter Herger [R, CA-2]
Rep. Peter Hoekstra [R, MI-2]
Rep. Timothy Johnson [R, IL-15]
Rep. Walter Jones [R, NC-3]
Rep. Mark Kirk [R, IL-10]
Rep. Leonard Lance [R, NJ-7]
Rep. Thomas Latham [R, IA-4]
Rep. Christopher Lee [R, NY-26]
Rep. Jerry Lewis [R, CA-41]
Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R, NJ-2]
Rep. Donald Manzullo [R, IL-16]
Rep. Michael McCaul [R, TX-10]
Rep. Tom McClintock [R, CA-4]
Rep. John McHugh [R, NY-23]
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers [R, WA-5]
Rep. John Mica [R, FL-7]
Rep. Candice Miller [R, MI-10]
Rep. Jerry Moran [R, KS-1]
Rep. Thomas Petri [R, WI-6]
Rep. Todd Platts [R, PA-19]
Rep. Adam Putnam [R, FL-12]
Rep. Dennis Rehberg [R, MT-0]
Rep. Dave Reichert [R, WA-8]
Rep. David Roe [R, TN-1]
Rep. Michael Rogers [R, AL-3]
Rep. Harold Rogers [R, KY-5]
Rep. Michael Rogers [R, MI-8]
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46]
Rep. Thomas Rooney [R, FL-16]
Rep. Peter Roskam [R, IL-6]
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R, FL-18]
Rep. Edward Royce [R, CA-40]
Rep. Paul Ryan [R, WI-1]
Rep. Jean Schmidt [R, OH-2]
Rep. Aaron Schock [R, IL-18]
Rep. John Shimkus [R, IL-19]
Rep. Christopher Smith [R, NJ-4]
Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21]
Rep. Clifford Stearns [R, FL-6]
Rep. Patrick Tiberi [R, OH-12]
Rep. Michael Turner [R, OH-3]
Rep. Frederick Upton [R, MI-6]
Rep. Greg Walden [R, OR-2]
Rep. Zach Wamp [R, TN-3]
Rep. Edward Whitfield [R, KY-1]
Rep. Rob Wittman [R, VA-1]
Rep. Frank Wolf [R, VA-10]
Rep. Donald Young [R, AK-0]
Rep. C. W. Young [R, FL-10]

Congress should have allowed AIG to enter into bankruptcy...that's what would happen to those of us private citizens who earn a living if we were to fail to live up to our financial obligations! H.R. 1586 demonstrates the ignorance of our elected leaders, and I seriously doubt that the Supreme Court would fail to take a case like this and uphold such an asinine law. While the Supreme Court does not generally infringe upon Congress's legislative prerogative to set tax policy (specifically the House of Representatives), this is nothing more than a Legislative hit job, set up to deflect attention from their own mistake of passing these types of bailout bills in the first place.

2010 Approaches...and an elephant never forgets...at least this Conservative blog never will.

Here's a quote from the great Thomas Paine, a revolutionary American (perhaps that a term we should open up for contemporary dissenters, as well), in his work Common Sense.

"When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir." Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Foxnews and Legal Scholars Just Now Catching Up to Offering Common Sense

Congress is looking to pass a tax bill on the AIG bonuses that were paid out, due to it's own ignorance in passing legislation that gave the failing company billions of taxpayer dollars:

"Two of those difficulties, lawyers say, lie in Article I of the U.S. Constitution -- a section stating Congress cannot pass any "Bill of Attainder" or "ex post facto" law."

Does that sound familiar? Again, we have a Congress that puts public opinion polls over the Constitution, and they think the rest of us are too stupid to know better. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bigger than Bailouts: A Nation at Risk

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today you will see a farcical mockery in the US Congress when the pot calls the kettle black in front of a national audience. Our liberal elitist government has taken it upon itself to interfere and intervene on behalf of bureaucracy (not on behalf of the American taxpayers), and it has bitten them in the rear. AIG should have gone bankrupt, and the organization still may with a few hundred billion dollars of taxpayer money going down with the ship. Today we have a weak Congress, that lacks any clear leadership or principles. They rule by public opinions polls, and now they have the audacity to come before the American people and ridicule the AIG CEO for wasting millions on bonuses with money that THEY VOTED TO GIVE AIG!

If AIG had gone bankrupt, then those bonuses would not be paid. The government has effectively purchased a lemon, and there's nothing they can do about it at this point. Contracts are legally binding, but some Congressmen are proposing some pretty asinine legislation. One proposal calls for taxing bonuses to AIG executives at 100%. Unfortunately for the morons in Congress who propose such legislation there's a little document called the Constitution (I wonder how many of them really even know anything about the Constitution other than to say that things they agree with are 'Contitutional' and things they disagree with aren't?). Article 1 Section 9 -- No ex post facto laws. Simply put, you can't make a new law and hold past actions accountable to the new standard. Article 1 Section 10, no laws against contracts (among other things). Congress does not have the authority to alter the AIG contracts with legislation, nor can it simply decide to tax 100% of any private compensation, whether or not it was earned. Congress and the President got itself into this mess, and they are now willing to further tear the Constitution to save face.

If you don't like AIG, then don't do business with the coporation or any of its partners. That's a simple solution, and a free-market one at that. Bankruptcy is a legal procedure, and it's one that happens all the times for individuals and corporations. "I told you so" is a weak response to any situation, because it requires looking back rather than forward. Still, we have to have a good short-term and long-term memory as Americans when looking at this situation. Reagan had it right; FDR had it wrong. The current administration has chosen to take the path that demonstrated no ability to actually solve an economic crisis, preferring to get a bureaucratic chokehold on our personal and economic freedoms through government programs, incessant omnibus bills, and bailouts.

After careful consideration, I can come to no other logical conclusion: Congress thinks you're stupid. If you are more concerned about the next American Idol than upholding our Constitution, they can sneak things in, little by little, until you are dependent...co-dependent might be a little more accurate.

Pay attention, and remember the arrogant way in which Congressmen like Barney Frank snub their noses at free markets, and then deny any responsibility for the failings of government interventionism. Their tune will change next year, as the mid-terms approach, so just remember this false indignity we see from Congress next November. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Juli!

Happy 29th Birthday Juli!

This is probably the last year I can announce her age. For those of you who do not know, Juli is a homeschooling mother of 5, a USAF veteran, a college graduate with a B.S. in Psychology, and most important, my wife. I've compiled a short slideshow to celebrate her birthday which happens to be March 17!

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 13, 2009

Obama Administration to Vets: "Pay your own healthcare."

I honestly thought this story was another one of those publicity seeking tactics from some Conservative alarmists (we have them in our party just as the Liberals have them, although not to the same extent), but it seems that the VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has admitted that the Obama Administration was looking to charge military servicemembers for their own healthcare. While such a proposal would never pass even a Democratically-controlled Congress, the hypocrisy is so astounding that I think we have to create a new hypocrisy-meter.

We can start with a simple definition of the term:

hypocrisy - saying one thing and doing another, claiming you are against earmarks and signing a bill with thousands of earmarks totalling billions of dollars, calling for an era of responsibility while bailing out failing corporations, criticizing the previous administration for secret closed door meetings with energy companies while having secret closed door meetings with union leaders, saying that you will reduce taxes for American families while increasing taxes for those who dare to attempt to stimulate the economy and actually create jobs.... Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Republicans Voting for Cloture in the Senate

These are our Republican Senators who voted for cloture, in an effort to pass the $410 Omnibus government spending bill 2k9.

Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]
Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]
Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. Arlen Specter [R, PA]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

Thanks a million guys...or 410-thousand million. Sphere: Related Content

Rush Exposes Liberal Media Cover-up

It seems the liberal media's hypocrisy knows no bounds (yes, that did come from the movie Tombstone). Foxnews is reporting that none other than James Carville, the Clinton front man for the decade of the 90's, stated explicitly that he wanted President Bush to fail. Unfortunately for Mr. Carville, his words were uttered on the morning of September 11, 2001 just before reports of terrorist attacks on our nation began trickling out of New York.

Read it for yourself.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks, we had bigger fish to fry. News stories about Gary Condit's affair, and the murder of the Washington intern, or the series of shark attacks on the east coast fizzled. Carville's political statements seemingly disappeared, until now. Get over yourself, liberals. You've proven to be preppy elitists at every step of the way, so far, and hypocritical doesn't even begin to describe the liberal ideology. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Liberty, Security, and the Wildcard

Oftentimes people like to reduce complex issues to the most overly simplistic, simple representations of their own biased beliefs. I pretend to do no different most times, while I still strive for an objective approach to most things. It's easy enough to offer up an example of pork-laden legislation on this site, but having anyone truly care about it enough to act is a little more complicated. I've found that people often establish some sort of pendulum with two diametrically opposed sides with almost everything in their lives. Individuals do this. Groups of people do this. Entire nations live and die by the swinging the pendulums that affect us.

We hear about "balance" and the need to play both sides of every issue to be truly objective. Reagan, like no other, spoke about the idiocy and weakness inherent in those (namely European nations) that removed themselves from the arguments between the free United States and the enslaved Soviet Union. Those equivocators among us do nothing to help the argument for goodness, justice, and our cause. Evil plus inaction equals more evil, and the sooner that everyone realizes this applies to the political arena, the better off our children will be, if not us. The spending, the over-reaching by our federal government into every aspect of our lives, the calls for purely socialist ideas (even if they don't have the courage to call them by the name) are all more than warning shots across the bow of freedom. They've landed direct hits, and the country (and the DOW) is reeling from the blows.

The armchair warriors, pretenders, and fake leaders need to now step aside, as you have been nothing but ineffective. We, the freedom loving Americans, have grown weary of your ineptitude, and you're beginning to see a true change. Tea parties across the country are happening, and we're really, for the first time in a while, seeing the citizens demand the freedoms mentioned in the Constitution be protected.

You can't solve the problems of over-regulation in a free-market with more regulation. You can't solve the problems of violent gun crimes by limiting gun ownership for citizens. You can't preach about accountability and responsibility while doing everything in your power to ensure that those who don't want to be accountable are able to murder babies in the womb, or shirk their responsibilities to pay their debts, or run a sound business.

We have some things in this country that are uniquely American. Our strong belief in the rights to free speech, and in the fact that government works for us, rather than the other way around, usually bring us together. Yet, we've seen a shift in the debate, the general discourse of politics, that suggests otherwise. This nation has allowed the pendulum of liberty to shift to "security," while proclaiming that this is for our own good. The absence of opposition to evil, breeds evil. Without a dissenting voice, the "social norm" becomes tainted, biased, and overpowering.

Maybe it's time to acknowledge that the time for civility is over. It's time to speak up for the values that we hold dear: self-reliance, freedom, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I fear that we may now be embarking into a dark new territory in this country, as my generation is among the first in our young nation's history to inherit less opportunity than the ones before us. To buy our loyalty, the ones in power (who are older than I am by decades) have asked us to simply pass the costs on to our children and grandchildren. "No" is my simple answer to their complicated reasoning for such preposterous ideas. Our answer is the wildcard...the thing they weren't considering in Congress.

What say you?

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 5, 2009

270 Decide for 300,000,000

Have you ever really pondered how much power so few people have over so many? It's by design, and our Constitution was set up by the founding fathers to give us a Republic, rather than a mob-ruled Democracy, for good reason. The objective was to make sure that intelligent, reasonable people would make laws in the legislative branch because our nation gives great deference to the lawmakers. As such, we settled upon a compromise of a House of Representatives to be elected by the people, and a Senate to be elected by the state legislatures. That, of course, changed with the 17th Amendment, but there are still 2 Senators per state. Therefore, we have a nation of over 300,000,000 people where a whopping 270 can basically control every aspect of your life.


218 Representatives are all that's needed for a majority out of the 435 elected.

51 Senators can pass a bill (1 VP if there is a 50/50 tie, but it's still 51 people).

1 President signs the bill into law.


I suppose if there is some Constitutional debate over the law, you could add 5 Supreme Court Justices to the mix, but that brings the total to 275, and only as a caveat.


Just think about that for a minute! You KNOW more than 270 people, more than likely. You pass 270 people in a matter of seconds on your way to work if you drive along the highway. That isn't a whole lot of people, but still it is more than enough to dictate almost everything that happens to us! Those 270 (275 with a challenge) can say that the tax rate is 100%. They can outlaw guns (although I disagree with their authority to do so, it wouldn't change the fact that they could do it). They can implement a policy that requires all children attend public schools and that the curriculum be favorable to abortion policies, communism, socialism, or whatever they dream up.


I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily a bad system, but we've morphed this into something else. The learned people that Franklin, Adams, and Washington may have envisioned running things are the exception, not the rule in Washington today. Today we have morons calling for public witchhunts of political rivals, and votes for pork projects that have the Treasury's printing presses humming! We have elected leaders who don't even read the bills that they vote on, and a President who play the media's adoration of him to his full advantage in the name of political expediency.


We are a Republic, and we are a great one. Yet we need to seriously consider the fact that we allow 270 people to run it all. Those 270 had better be good, and they better have some the conviction, courage, and intelligence to make this nation a better place for generations to come.


My father once caught me daydreaming out in right field, when I was a 5-year-old T-ball player down in a suburban Georgia town (Riverdale). After our long talk about paying attention on the ballfield, he wrote in permanent marker five letters: T-H-I-N-K. Everytime I would daydream and undoubtedly put my glove over my face, those words would remind me of my father's words.


Perhaps America could learn from that lesson, as well. As we put the metaphorical glove over our face, as we always do in a mid-term election (just look at voter turnouts when a President isn't on the ballot) perhaps we need a reminder that says to T-H-I-N-K. Maybe we could write under that five more letters: F-O-C-U-S. This is important, people. The mid-term may make or break us for the remainder of many of our lives. We can turn this thing around, eliminate tax burdens, speak out for values, and bring business back to what was once a business friendly nation.


270...that's all it takes. Vote and make it count!



What's it going to be? Sphere: Related Content

Constitutional Amendment Proposed! H.J.Res.21

Rep. Dreier (R-CA) has proposed House Joint Resolution 21 calling for a Constitutional Amendment on how Senators are elected. This short resolution only addresses the Sen. Burris situation where a Governor can appoint a Senator, despite obvious objections in the mainstream. This amendment would simply say that a special election would need to be held if a seat becomes vacant. See the full text of the bill here (and my added section 3 below it):


111th CONGRESS
1st SessionH. J. RES. 21
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to the election of Senators.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESFebruary 11, 2009Mr. DREIER (for himself, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, and Mr. PIERLUISI) introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the JudiciaryJOINT RESOLUTIONProposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to the election of Senators.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:
‘Article--
‘Section 1. No person shall be a Senator from a State unless such person has been elected by the people thereof. When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
‘Section 2. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as a part of the Constitution.’


--------------

Proposed Section 3. No person shall be a Senator for more than one term of six years.
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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Are you freakin' kidding me?

As you are aware, the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 1105) cleared the House with a partisan vote (except for a few of those who are mentioned in a previous post), and it rests with the Senate. We do have a Democrat (Sen. Feingold) calling for a veto of the current version of the bill, but you'd think the legislative action would mirror the words and rhetoric...they don't.

Senate Amendments proposed yesterday:
  • 596 (Tom Coburn - OK) -- requiring competitive contract procedures
  • 599 (Lisa Murkowski - AK) -- modification of rule promulgation
  • 607 (Roger Wicker - MS) -- preventing use of funds for "coercive abortions"
  • 608 (Tom Coburn - OK) -- providings funds for "Emmett Till Civil Rights Crime Act"
  • 610 (Tom Coburn - OK) -- preventing "earmarks"
  • 623 (Tom Coburn - OK) -- no earmarks for 14 lobbying firms under investigation
  • 635 (John Thune - SD) -- funding for Emergency Fund for Indian Safety and Health

Nothing in these amendments actually reduces the pork or the spending. Coburn's 610 amendment seemingly addresses this, but the only way to do anything is to squash this bill where it stands...in the Senate. This is absolutely ridiculous, people. What is surprising is that we have Republican Senators, supposedly Conservatives, looking for their piece of the Appropriations pie.

Sphere: Related Content

Russian "Scholar" Needs to Shut the Hell Up

Professor Panarin is being reported in the news as saying he feels that the United States will soon break up. You may recall my earlier post, Dream on Professor Panarin, where I criticized the Russian's obvious misunderstanding of our national fabric. Apparently my reasonable argument didn't work, so here's my next response (below):


*I changed the title from "heck" to "hell." Heck was just too hokey.

Sphere: Related Content

Citizens' Self-Defense Act of 2009 (H.R. 17) Update


I've posted previously about H.R. 17, and I just wanted to give the Offering "Common" Sense readers an update on the progress that the House Judiciary committee has made since this bill was introduced and referred to them:

NSTR - Nothing Significant to Report

Seriously, folks, that's it. There is no significant action on a bill that seeks to help protect our 2nd Amendment rights, and our right to self-reliance. This basic, fundamental freedom is essential to a free society, but we can't continue to sit and watch Congress fumble over how to spend more of our children's [not even yet] hard earned money while they ignore voting on our fundamental rights.

First and foremost, want to commend the sponsor and co-sponsors of the bill:

Sponsor:


Now, for some real action. Here's the house judiciary site, complete with contact information for Chairman John Conyers (D-MI). Perhaps it time for Americans to tell Rep. John Conyers that he should stop wasting his time issuing politically-motivated subpoenas to Karl Rove and others, and push this bill out to the full House for a vote. Ladies and gentlemen, contact Chairman Conyers and ask him why he favors petty politics over true policy, and insist that the House Judiciary move this bill out of committee today!


Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

H.R. 1238 meet H.R. 794

Rep. Shadegg (R-AZ) has introduced legislation this week in H.R. 1238, which seeks:

"To prohibit the presence in the United States of any alien formerly detained at the Department of Defense detention facility at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

If you'll recall, Rep. Lamborn (R-CO) introduced H.R. 794 earlier this session that only protects the State of Colorado, and it seems that these two Republicans should sit down and have a talk. Both bills seek to basically do the same thing, but we have fracture within the Republican party when we see dual bills for the same topic. As a minority party, we have limited opportunities to protect the American taxpayer, and protect our country from harm. We cannot afford to split up our forces and lose vote after vote. To be effective, and to have any sort of impact, we have to move as a party, and come together in the defense of Conservative ideals.

It's been said many times, and it is worth repeating: Pres. Obama, in only one month, has projected more spending for our taxpayers than Presidents Washington through Bush (43). With the government now owning 77% of AIG, and billions more in bailouts to corporations in exchange for "preferred stock," calls for the "Fair"ness Doctrine, and socialized medicine coming on the scene, this nation has just moved ever closer to socialism.

When our children look back at these moments in our national history, some will wonder when the following words were spoken:

One small step for government interventionism, one giant leap for socialism.

Rep. Boehner, you have to bring this party together, and make sure that our efforts are not wasted with numerous bills that do the same thing. Republican Representatives and Senators, you have to come together and be a force of defiance against the liberal move towards big government. This is not mere politics, this is our lives.

As Conservatives we cannot stop big government for the next 2 years...we can only hope to contain it. While we cannot stop votes on stimulus bill after stimulus bill, we can slow the spending of the money until such time as we retake the majority in Congress, and pass bills removing this burden on the taxpayers.

I commend Rep. Lamborn for trying to protect Colorado from harboring these terrorists, as well as Rep. Shadegg for proposing this new legislation in H.R. 1238, but we have to have one bill that says simply:

No terrorists will be harbored in the United States. They can be executed or sent to nations that will accept them. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Offering Common Sense is Undergoing Changes


OCS readers,


Do yourselves a favor and take a moment or two to look at our newest RSS feed from our mirror (not mirrow... my wife caught that, and nobody else even mentioned it...thanks guys!) site, run by JCB, http://www.offeringcommonsense.wordpress.com/. Offering "Common" Sense started with very humble beginnings with a couple of site visitors per week. We're now garnering visitors by the hundreds per day sometimes, and we couldn't be happier.


We're about to undergo a few more changes in the very near future to make your experience with OCS more informative and even more enjoyable (if you can believe that is even possible!). As this site progresses, and reaches more and more Conservative viewers (and those of other ideologies who are just Conservative-curious), we hope to have more and more of an impact on the national political debate.


The freedom of speech guaranteed by our founding fathers in the Constitution is given to us by God, simply for existing. Sometimes the government forgets that simple fact, but blogs like this one and others do a small part in keeping them honest. You can get the latest vote tallies from Congress here, see what others are saying, and stay tuned in to what your government is and is not doing. We are unapologetically Conservative, and we're not going to sit idly by while the government increases its own footprint and prints play money for failing institutions.


Thank you for reading Offering "Common" Sense, and we look forward to bringing you even better, harder-hitting, Conservative content in the near future.


-J. Dallas Brooks

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Republicans who voted for the Omnibus Bill (H.R. 1105)

The following Republicans actually voted FOR the Omnibus Government Spending Screw the Taxpayers Act Part II...H.R. 1105.

Rep. Mary Bono Mack [R, CA-45]
Rep. Virginia Brown-Waite [R, FL-5]
Rep. Anh Cao [R, LA-2]
Rep. Shelley Capito [R, WV-2]
Rep. Michael Castle [R, DE-0]
Rep. Charles Dent [R, PA-15]
Rep. Jo Ann Emerson [R, MO-8]
Rep. Jim Gerlach [R, PA-6]
Rep. Frank LoBiondo [R, NJ-2]
Rep. John McHugh [R, NY-23]
Rep. Candice Miller [R, MI-10]
Rep. Tim Murphy [R, PA-18]
Rep. Dave Reichert [R, WA-8]
Rep. Frederick Upton [R, MI-6]
Rep. Edward Whitfield [R, KY-1]
Rep. Donald Young [R, AK-0]

The following Republicans didn't even care enough to vote either way...they "abstained."

Rep. Spencer Bachus [R, AL-6]
Rep. John Campbell [R, CA-48]
Rep. Bill Cassidy [R, LA-6]
Rep. Gary Miller [R, CA-42]

Now, for a stark contrast on paradox Wednesday, let's look at the Democrats who voted with the American Taxpayers for a change!

Rep. Melissa Bean [D, IL-8]
Rep. Dennis Cardoza [D, CA-18]
Rep. Travis Childers [D, MS-1]
Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]
Rep. Jim Costa [D, CA-20]
Rep. Joe Donnelly [D, IN-2]
Rep. Steve Driehaus [D, OH-1]
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords [D, AZ-8]
Rep. Baron Hill [D, IN-9]
Rep. Ronald Kind [D, WI-3]
Rep. Frank Kratovil [D, MD-1]
Rep. James Marshall [D, GA-8]
Rep. Jim Matheson [D, UT-2]
Rep. Walter Minnick [D, ID-1]
Rep. Harry Mitchell [D, AZ-5]
Rep. Glenn Nye [D, VA-2]
Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]
Rep. Jackie Speier [D, CA-12]
Rep. John Tanner [D, TN-8]
Rep. Gene Taylor [D, MS-4]

*Thanks to Opencongress.org for publishing this list. The House.gov site made no mention of it as of this evening, only stating that there was a Roll Call vote #86. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Get ready to be hit by an Omnibus (H.R. 1105)

Sphere: Related Content

Georgia Republicans Stand Against the IRS

If you hate taxes, you're fed up with one bailout bill after another going to corporations that don't comprehend basic business principles, and you don't appreciate a tax-dodger running the Treasury Department, while you dutifully pay your bills and taxes, take a look at the Republican party. The Georgia Republicans in Congress, in particular, should be commended for their sponsorship of H.R. 25 (Rep. Linder) and S.296 (Sen. Chambliss). As much as I'd like to see such a bill come to pass, it just will not happen. This nation has elected Democrats into power, and yet it complains about the injustices of government abuse of power. Pres. Obama would never support such a bill, but if we develop enough of a majority in 2010, he'll have no choice. What a signal to the American people, and the rest of the world it would be to enact the Fair Tax Act into law! Sphere: Related Content

Monday, February 23, 2009

Alan Colmes, the new National Inquirer of the News Media


Alan Colmes, staunch liberal, and Foxnews political pundit actually sat down for a formal interview with Bill Ayers who does "not regret" planting bombs. The self-professed terrorist has no place in our political discourse, and elevating his status or his ego does nothing to solve the problems our nation faces. This is nothing more than tabloid journalism, and I thought that Alan was a little better than that.

Dr. Ayers, I honestly don't give a rats A what you think about the war in Afghanistan, or anything else for that matter. As far as I'm concerned, you should be behind bars for terrorism, aggravated assault, and attempted murder. You're nothing more than a sideshow, and were it not for the President's ill choice of venue early in his political life, you would be virtually unheard of at this point in time. You may not regret your actions now or even understand the hypocrisy of being an anti-war activist who bombs people, but I truly believe your visit to the Pearly Gates will be the toughest interview you ever face.

Real Americans can disagree, and they can function in a free society with open debate. Just as I make no apologies for my staunch Conservatism, I fully respect and appreciate the right of the liberal nuts to express their views, too. Prance in the streets, and proclaim your love for the gay pandas, and your hatred for any war, all you want. I welcome the debate. You, however, Dr. Ayers have demonstrated that you have no ability to reason or function in a free society. Perhaps you'd be better served in one of the communist nations you love so much.

I'll tell you what. Here's my offer to Dr. Ayers. If you will revoke your American citizenship, and move to a communist country (or even a socialist European country for that matter) and take up permanent residence...I'll buy the one way plane ticket! Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Bush Diplomacy v. Obama Diplomacy



Maybe it's time for liberals to acknowledge that President Bush may just have been right about the Axis of Evil...hmmmm.


Sphere: Related Content

Earmarks, Get Your Earmarks Here!


A lobby group (PMA Group), which has ties to Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) is accused of illegal campaign contributions. CQ Politics published a list of the names of our elected officials involved in PMA Group dealings. (Here).

This is not the list you want your name to pop up on. Unfortunately for Colorado, we have 2 Democrats (Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter) and 1 Republican (Doug Lamborn) here. This is just not the type of politics we need in America. It's time for term limits, it's time to stop the vote-buying schemes, and the underhanded, shady dealings that cost taxpayers money. I'm not opposed to a politician accepting funds, but you should owe no one anything but love and kindness (to paraphrase). If I run for office, you can give me all the money you want, but don't expect a dime back in any legislation passed in the Congress! You should know where I stand on the issues (tax cuts, traditional family values, pro-life, ending government intrusion into private lives), and donate or not donate accordingly. That's it.

Here's the story. Sphere: Related Content

Rep. Jackson-Lee is at it again! H.R. 262 - Preventing "Hate" Crimes


In a bill that does little more than grant more government benefits (such as unemployment, time off of work, insurance benefits, and free housing!) the Texas Democrat has proclaimed that she knows what a "hate" crime is:

‘(20) HATE CRIME- The term ‘hate crime’ means a criminal offense in which the prosecutor has determined that the defendant intentionally selected a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.

Now think about this for just a minute. A prosecutor will now presume to punish not only the crime of the defendant, but also the actual thoughts going through his head. Obviously this type of Orwellian "justice" is a farce. The real purpose here is simply for Rep. Jackson-Lee to attempt to purchase votes for herself out of the national purse. As a liberal Democrat, her constituents, as opposed to a Republican's, are more likely to be minorities [race], of some religious affiliation other than Christianity [religion], from another country [national origin], black [ethnicity], female [gender], disabled [disability] (except for disabled veterans), and homosexual [sexual orientation].

What's so striking about this bill, is that it removes the incentive from a more lofty goal of justice, and shifts it towards getting stuff. If you are a majority, Christian, male, heterosexual person, and you are robbed at gunpoint, you get nothing but the satisfaction of seeing the perpetrator behind bars (if he's caught). If you're armed (this is Texas), then perhaps you can send the criminal to hell and save some taxpayer money, which also gives a bit of satisfaction, I suppose. But that is where the buck stops. If you're a Jackson-Lee voter, then don't stop there! You might as well get some government benefits, too!

*Let me be perfectly clear, I'm not suggesting that individuals, due to their social category as defined in this bill, will be either Democrat of Republican, rather, Rep. Jackson-Lee has made a calculated effort to cast a wide net around her voting base. That said, who can name the screenshot movie reference in the post? Sphere: Related Content

Friday, February 20, 2009

S. 449 - Free Speech Protection Act of 2009

A Republican, a Democrat, and an Independent walk into a bar...and discover some common sense!

S. 449 was sponsored in the Senate by Arlen Specter (R*-PA) (co-sponsored by Joe Lieberman and Chuck Schumer) recently, and it doesn't have one bit of press. Essentially, this bill is redundant and unnecessary because my wording on S. 449 would be "Refer to Amendment 1, US Constitution." Problem solved! Still, as we move ever closer to a government dominated by socialist ideals, whereby the government considers itself much more able to choose your life's decisions than you are, perhaps it's worth re-affirming the 1st Amendment in the federal legislature. To save you the headache of searching the Senate.gov website, I'll post the full text of the bill here!

---

111th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 449

To protect free speech.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 13, 2009

Mr. SPECTER (for himself, Mr. LIEBERMAN, and Mr. SCHUMER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To protect free speech.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Free Speech Protection Act of 2009'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
      (1) The freedom of speech and the press is enshrined in the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
      (2) Free speech, the free exchange of information, and the free expression of ideas and opinions are essential to the functioning of representative democracy in the United States.
      (3) The free expression and publication by journalists, academics, commentators, experts, and others of the information they uncover and develop through research and study is essential to the formation of sound public policy and thus to the security of the people of the United States.
      (4) The first amendment jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the United States, articulated in such precedents as New York Times v. Sullivan (376 U.S. 254 (1964)), and its progeny, reflects the fundamental value that the people of the United States place on promoting the free exchange of ideas and information, requiring in cases involving public figures a demonstration of actual malice, that is, that allegedly defamatory, libelous, or slanderous statements about public figures are not merely false but made with knowledge of that falsity or with reckless disregard of their truth or falsity.
      (5) Some persons are obstructing the free expression rights of United States persons, and the vital interest of the people of the United States in receiving information on matters of public importance, by first seeking out foreign jurisdictions that do not provide the full extent of free-speech protection that is fundamental in the United States and then suing United States persons in such jurisdictions in defamation actions based on speech uttered or published in the United States, speech that is fully protected under first amendment jurisprudence in the United States and the laws of the several States and the District of Columbia.
      (6) Some of these actions are intended not only to suppress the free speech rights of journalists, academics, commentators, experts, and other individuals but to intimidate publishers and other organizations that might otherwise disseminate or support the work of those individuals with the threat of prohibitive foreign lawsuits, litigation expenses, and judgments that provide for money damages and other speech-suppressing relief. Such actions are intentional tortious acts aimed at United States persons, even though the harmful conduct may have occurred extraterritorially.
      (7) The governments and courts of some foreign countries have failed to curtail this practice, permitting lawsuits filed by persons who are often not citizens of those countries, under circumstances where there is often little or no basis for jurisdiction over the United States persons against whom such suits are brought.
      (8) Some of the plaintiffs bringing such suits are intentionally and strategically refraining from filing their suits in the United States, even though the speech at issue was published in the United States, in order to avoid the Supreme Court's first amendment jurisprudence and frustrate the protections it affords United States persons.
      (9) The United States persons against whom such suits are brought must consequently endure the prohibitive expense, inconvenience, and anxiety attendant to being sued in foreign courts for conduct that is protected under the first amendment, or decline to answer such suits and risk the entry of costly default judgments that may be executed in countries other than the United States where those individuals travel or own property.
      (10) Journalists, academics, commentators, experts, and others subjected to such suits are suffering concrete and profound financial and professional damage for engaging in conduct that is protected under the Constitution of the United States and essential to informing the people of the United States, their representatives, and other policymakers.
      (11) In turn, the people of the United States are suffering concrete and profound harm because they, their representatives, and other government policymakers rely on the free expression of information, ideas, and opinions developed by responsible journalists, academics, commentators, experts, and others for the formulation of sound public policy, including national security policy.
      (12) The United States respects the sovereign right of other countries to enact their own laws regarding speech, and seeks only to protect the first amendment rights of the people of the United States in connection with speech that occurs, in whole or in part, in the United States.

SEC. 3. FEDERAL CAUSE OF ACTION.

    (a) Cause of Action- Any United States person against whom a lawsuit is brought in a foreign country for defamation on the basis of the content of any writing, utterance, or other speech by that person that has been published, uttered, or otherwise primarily disseminated in the United States may bring an action in a United States district court specified in subsection (f) against any person who, or entity which, brought the foreign lawsuit if--
      (1) the writing, utterance, or other speech at issue in the foreign lawsuit does not constitute defamation under United States law; and
      (2) the person or entity which brought the foreign lawsuit serves or causes to be served any documents in connection with such foreign lawsuit on a United States person.
    (b) Jurisdiction- The district court shall have personal jurisdiction under this section if, in light of the facts alleged in the complaint, the person or entity bringing the foreign suit described in subsection (a) served or caused to be served any documents in connection with such foreign lawsuit on a United States person with assets in the United States against which the claimant in the foreign lawsuit could execute if a judgment in the foreign lawsuit were awarded.
    (c) Remedies-
      (1) ORDER TO BAR ENFORCEMENT AND OTHER INJUNCTIVE RELIEF- In a cause of action described in subsection (a), if the court determines that the applicable writing, utterance, or other speech at issue in the underlying foreign lawsuit does not constitute defamation under United States law, the court shall order that any foreign judgment in the foreign lawsuit in question may not be enforced in the United States, including by any Federal, State, or local court, and may order such other injunctive relief that the court considers appropriate to protect the right to free speech under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
      (2) DAMAGES- In addition to the remedy under paragraph (1) and if the conditions for release under that paragraph are satisfied, damages shall be awarded to the United States person bringing the action under subsection (a), based on the following:
        (A) The amount of any foreign judgment in the underlying foreign lawsuit.
        (B) The costs, including reasonable legal fees, attributable to the underlying foreign lawsuit that have been borne by the United States person.
        (C) The harm caused to the United States person due to decreased opportunities to publish, conduct research, or generate funding.
    (d) Treble Damages- If, in an action brought under subsection (a), the court or, if applicable, the jury determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the person or entity bringing the foreign lawsuit which gave rise to the cause of action intentionally engaged in a scheme to suppress rights under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States by discouraging publishers or other media from publishing, or discouraging employers, contractors, donors, sponsors, or similar financial supporters from employing, retaining, or supporting, the research, writing, or other speech of a journalist, academic, commentator, expert, or other individual, the court may award treble damages.
    (e) Expedited Discovery- Upon the filing of an action under subsection (a), the court may order expedited discovery if the court determines, based on the allegations in the complaint, that the speech at issue in the underlying foreign lawsuit is protected under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
    (f) Venue- An action under subsection (a) may be brought by a United States person only in a United States district court in which the United States person is domiciled, does business, or owns real property that could be executed against in satisfaction of a judgment in the underlying foreign lawsuit which gave rise to the action.
    (g) Timing of Action; Statute of Limitations-
      (1) TIMING- An action under subsection (a) may be commenced after the filing of the foreign lawsuit in a foreign country on which the action is based.
      (2) STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS- For purposes of section 1658(a) of title 28, United States Code, the cause of action under subsection (a) accrues on the first date on which papers in connection with the foreign lawsuit described in section (a), on which the cause of action is based, are served on a United States person in the United States.

SEC. 4. APPLICABILITY.

    This Act applies with respect to any foreign lawsuit that is described in section 3(a) in connection with papers that were served before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
      (1) DEFAMATION- The term `defamation' means any action or other proceeding for defamation, libel, slander, or similar claim alleging that forms of speech are false, have caused damage to reputation or emotional distress, have presented a person or persons in a negative light, or have resulted in criticism or condemnation of a person or persons.
      (2) FOREIGN COUNTRY- The term `foreign country' means any country other than the United States.
      (3) FOREIGN JUDGMENT- The term `foreign judgment' means any judgment of a foreign country, including the court system or an agency of a foreign country, that grants or denies any form of relief, including injunctive relief and monetary damages, in a defamation action.
      (4) FOREIGN LAWSUIT- The term `foreign lawsuit' includes any other hearing or proceeding in or before any court, grand jury, department, office, agency, commission, regulatory body, legislative committee, or other authority of a foreign country or political subdivision thereof.
      (5) UNITED STATES- The term `United States' means the several States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.
      (6) UNITED STATES PERSON- The term `United States person' means--
        (A) a United States citizen;
        (B) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence to the United States;
        (C) an alien lawfully residing in the United States at the time that the speech that is the subject of the foreign defamation suit or proceeding was researched, prepared, or disseminated; or
        (D) a business entity incorporated in, or with its primary location or place of operation in, the United States.


Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"A Nation of Cowards." -- AG Holder

"In things racial we have always been, and continue to be...a nation of cowards." -- Attorney General of the United States

I honestly don't even need to give much of a response here. AG Holder's words speak volumes, so I ask Offering Common Sense readers, some of the most tuned in, and acutely aware blog readers on the internet, what do you think about our new Attorney General and his comments? You'll have to try to step past the steaming pile of hypocrisy that he left for you to achieve some objectivity, of course. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

S. 371 - Sen. Bennett (D - CO) Co-sponsoring

Senate Bill 371 is known as the "Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009," and it was introduced by Sen. Thune (R - ND) and co-sponsored by the newest Democrat in the Senate, Bill Bennett.

In essence this bill seems to try to make it legal for those citizens with a concealed carry permits in one state to carry the same licensed, permitted weapon in another state; however, some of the wording is a little tricky here. For example, the bill states that the person carrying his or her firearm is "subject to the laws of the State in which the firearm is carried concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried." Presumably this means that private businesses that do not want firearms, stadiums, libraries, and other places that commonly 'outlaw' firearms (concealed carry permits or not), but I gather that a loose interpretation of such a bill would allow too much wiggle room for liberal state governments to find creative ways of restricting access to interstate highways, and the like.

Here's my proposed S. 371 rewrite:

Section 2. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.
(a) Refer to Amendment 2.

That's it!

Overall, I'm surprised to see Sen. Bennett go against the Democratic party and at least attempt to support gun rights to some extent, but I fear this is nothing more than lip service, as we know this bill will ultimately either fail to become law or fail to adequately protect gun rights of American citizens. The bigger grievance we should have with Sen. Bennett is his support of the Screw the Taxpayers Act of 2009 (commonly referred to as some type of 'stimulus' plan). Sphere: Related Content

H.R. 794 - Rep. Doug Lamborn's Current Bill

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R CO-5) is sponsoring H.R. 794 "to prohibit the use of funds to transfer enemy combatants detained by the United States at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the Florence Federal Correctional Complex in Colorado, or to construct facilities for such enemy combatants at such location."

Although I agree with the gist of this bill, I believe the bill should be amended so that the words "Florence Federal Correctional Complex in Colorado" are stricken from the language and replaced with "any land or territory of the United States." What do you say, Congressman? How about expanding the scope? I believe you would win some support from a large majority of the states, and it may pre-empt a legal nightmare for this nation's taxpayers thanks to the Obama Administration's weak policies on terrorism. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pork Alert! H.R. 1000 (Update #1)

In the grand scheme of things, $50 million is a drop in the bucket, but at some point we need to stand up as Conservatives...as Americans, and say "enough spending!" Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO 5), the Congressman formerly known as the Representative who does not answer constituent emails*, actually co-sponsored this pork-barrel bill that votes itself $50,000,000.00 from the federal purse to bring to his home state of Colorado for environmental projects. While we should be stewards of our environment (and not anti-capitalist green morons with the real agenda of bringing down the world's economy), Rep. Lamborn is putting his own re-election over the interests of the nation by co-sponsoring this bill. This is precisely why I want to impose term limits on Congress. Would our Republican representative vote to spend taxpayer money in such a way if he were ineligible for re-election in 2010?

*Congressman Lamborn's Communication Director returned my blog w/ an email, and I appreciate the gesture. I now eagerly await the Congressman's opinions on pork-barrel spending and term limits in particular. My party is a reflection of my ideology, not the other way around, and I make no apologies for complaining about not hearing from my Representative in the past. I also make sure that I am fair when my grievances are addressed. We're halfway there. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, February 16, 2009

H.R. 17 - Citizen's Self-Defense Act of 2009


Rep. Bartlett (R-MD) has introduced the Citizen's Self-Defense Act of 2009 to the House, but as of now it's only moved through the House Committee on the Judiciary by moving to the subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, where it will surely never achieve the votes necessary to go to a full floor vote. Here's why: there are 9 Democrats and 6 Republicans on the subcommittee (see for yourself).


This is a bill that states that police cannot protect citizens (they merely draw an outline on your body after you've been murdered) and it mentions that there are thousands of gun crimes where the police do not respond for an hour or more after a 9-1-1 call. Common sense, while common on this website, is far from common in Congress, but this bill is the exception to that rule. The bill specificies that shotguns, rifles, and handguns can be used in the defense of family or property. Here's an excerpt:


(a) Reaffirmation of Right- A person not prohibited from receiving a firearm by Section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, shall have the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms--
(1) in defense of self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury;
(2) in defense of self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person's family; and
(3) in defense of the person's home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.


Citizens, write directly to the Chairman, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) to encourage him to send this bill out of the committee and on to a full floor vote today! Write Rep. Scott here.


Let them know that we are Americans, and we will not sit and watch our God-given freedoms be flushed down the toilet.


--J.Dallas Brooks


Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Dream

Normally I reserve this site for refutations* of liberal arguments, and a general political approach to philosophy. Those of you who know me, understand that I am a Republican because I am a Conservative, not the other way around. As such, I often do not make a ton of personal comments on me, my life, or even my family. What follows will be an exception.

*Note: Socrates often used rhetorical "refutations" to extract his version of absolute truth from his students, while claiming no wisdom for himself. Perhaps this is something to do with an enormous amount of pragmatism, whereby Socrates could simply see the world for how it was, just as I attempt to see it for how it is.

...

Last night I dreamed that I somehow went back in time to President Reagan's last days in office. I was 29 years old still (as I am today), and from the year 2009, but transported temporarily to January 1989. Reagan was different, and it was as if he were an aloof old grandfather, the caricature so often portrayed in the news media, and nothing like the real man. He had longer hair, and dark glasses, and I found myself somehow in the presence of the man in some cemetery, where he had just given some remarks. My father, who died much before Reagan (1987, at the age of 30 due to cancer), was there. His trademark mustache was there, but gray. He seemed to point me towards Reagan, and I felt an incredible urge to make a plea for him to somehow act to prevent Sept. 11, 2001.

As I approached the President, he turned to me but didn't seem to really be focused on anything but making his way to his next appointment.
"Mr. President, I'm from the future."
A knowing look (knowing that I must be nuts that is).
"How can I help you, son?" he replied.
"In the year 2001 we will witness the worst terrorist attacks in our nation's history, you have to find bin Laden, and destroy Al Qaeda now in 1989. I have more details for you."
Just then, the secret service detail diverted the President's attention, and lead him away to his limo, and off he went.

I believe that dreams sometimes have a deeper meaning than what a Psychologist would associate to them. Anyone who watches any type of Sci-Fi movie or show where time travel is possible would understand the desire to go back in time and change negative events. As I sat, pondering the implications of my weird dream, where I failed to use my one chance to save innocent lives even when meeting the men that I admired most in life (my father, and Reagan), something hit me. Perhaps its not about what I would do to change past events, as this is physically impossible, outside the realm of the imagination. Rather, what would someone from our possible future come back to warn us about? What will someone in my shoes in 20 or 30 years yet to come wish they could change?

We can't know the future, despite what anyone will tell you. People who prophesize often have an over-inflated sense of importance, or they follow-up with a request for your Visa or Mastercard number. In any case, we can be Socratic, and pragmatic. We can remove the lens of bias, we can ignore the rhetoric, the mass hysteria, and the rhythmic beating of the music that is played to march us toward some destiny rife with compliance. We must simply ask ourselves what our forefathers really meant with their words and their actions. We must ask where are we today, and how did we get here? We have to first know where we are, and no one seems to want to be honest about that. It's necessary to know this before we move forward.

Just as we are helpless to change the past, we have great power to shape the future. Sphere: Related Content

The Top of the Slippery Slope


H.R. 45 - Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009

And so it begins, the liberals are now not only calling to reinstate "fairness" (read: liberal bias) to the radio waves where they see Conservative successes, they probably sense that the only way to do this is to first take our guns. I mean, after all, that's how the Nazis and the Soviets did it, why should Democrats be any different than their mentors?

Those of you vaguely familiar with the concept of logic (liberal visitors to this site may want to Google the term or read some of the works of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) will understand that the slippery slope of complete government control approaches. They start with a seemingly innocuous piece of legislation, tied to a "Save the Children Act of [insert current year here]" as an addendum, which creates some new type of government bureaucracy to monitor or control your freedom. Liberals, socialists, and communists understand that our founding fathers knew full well the dangers of government oppression, and that the 2nd Amendment was put into place to ensure that overzealous bureaucrats didn't dare tread on the rights and freedoms of Americans. They will tell you it's for your own good, and it's the best philosophical argument in their mind. After all they "probably have a much higher I.Q. than you do." (Biden quote to reporters) Of course, this doesn't apply to government, by any means. You'll see what I'm talking about in a minute.

Ladies and gentlemen, enter the 111th Congress, stage left. After passing a "stimulus" bill that spends $800 billion dollars that we don't have, calls for "fairness" (censorship), and a series of blunders by the Executive Branch in its handling of cabinet positions, we now have H.R. 45, which is step 1 in the liberal agenda of removing guns from all citizens.

Not a licensed gun collector of dealer? Well, you better have a license, or agents will be at your door, confiscating your weapon, and sending you to prison for 2 years!

Got kids? Well, you may not have guns if the government has anything to do with it. By a loose interpretation of this vague law, we may see such restrictions.

After an entire bill of restrictions on citizens' rights (which will be duly challenged in the Supreme Court if this bill comes to pass), here's my favorite section:

...

SEC. 801. INAPPLICABILITY TO GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES.

    This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall not apply to any department or agency of the United States, of a State, or of a political subdivision of a State, or to any official conduct of any officer or employee of such a department or agency.
...

"I've been to Georgia on a fast train honey, I wasn't born no yesterday, Had a good Christian raisin' and an 8th grade education ain't no need in ya'll a treatin' me this way!"
--Texas Outlaws

Keep a track on the House here.

--J. Dallas Brooks, *unlicensed Gun Owner

*this will be "outlaw" after passage of the bill, I presume



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