Liberty

The Texter-in-Chief

If you need a new cell phone soon and don’t have a strong desire to get texted by President Obama, you may want to get around and buy one soon. Starting next year all cell phones will be required to have a special chip that will allow government agencies including the president to text you. This is being implemented as part of a revamped emergency notification system. The UK Telegraph reports:

From next year, new phones and other hand-held devices will be required to be fitted with special chips to receive the alerts, which will also be sent by state and local authorities. Users will be able to opt out of every type of alert except those from the president, said the Federal Communications Commission.

The system will include alerts about missing children and will supersede all other phone traffic to avoid delays.

Ok, so we can opt out of all of this except for messages from the president? Where does the president get this right from? Maybe I have overlooked the constitutional power of the president to text when reading the Constitution.

WE INTERRUPT THIS ARTICLE FOR AN IMPORTANT ALERT FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA: …

Just kidding.

Most likely the government will use this new power like it does so much else – incompetently. Alerts will go out after the tornado hit. But there is potential for tremendous abuse. How about on election day a targeted message to registered Democrats in closely contested elections to go to the polls?

You say it can’t happen? Well, probably not on a national level, but in places like Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago where the dead routinely vote, I don’t see such abuse so far fetched.

And who can assure us that these new chips do not also track our location. Apple may be doing this already (although what they really track appears to be cell tower usage), but at least now we have a choice of phones. Starting 2012 the only choice will be the one with the government chip in it.

Ten days ago we rejoiced at President Obama’s correct decision to assassinate Osama bin-Laden. It was nice that he made a decision we could wholeheartedly endorse and that Obama had continued to utilize the tools and information infrastructure created by the Bush administration to fight the war on Islamofascism. It was a little embarrassing to hear the Obama administration’s contradictory statements explaining what happened so that they didn’t have to admit to the lunatic left that they simply wanted to kill bin-Laden and turn him into fish food. But we can’t get too worked up about this given the major achievement of killing the number one terrorist.

But don’t expect Obama’s success to change his agenda of controlling more and more aspect of our lives. Today it is the president’s new power to text. A few days ago it was a tracking device in your car so that you can be taxed on the miles you drive regardless of the fuel consumption. I did not make this up. The White House actually floated such a proposal a few days ago only to distance themselves from it in face of the controversy it raised. Their concern is that gas tax revenue will plummet when government subsidized hybird and battery-operated cars will reduce fuel consumption. And of course knowing our location at any point in time has lots of other potential abuses. Just wait for the mandatory tracking implant that you need to accept in order to be treated under Obamacare. (Note to leftist readers: I realize this is not part of Obamacare now. I just extrapolate from current policies to make my point.)

This blog focuses a lot on the coming financial crisis if we do not address out of control government spending. We should not overlook the dangers of increased tracking by government of our every move and the Obama administration’s desire to subject us to messages from the government regardless of our desire to opt out.

The Tea Party movement has just begun to challenge the decline of freedom in the United States. We have a long way to go.

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Go See Atlas Shrugged!

April 18, 2011

In Theaters, April 15, 2011
In Our Hands, November 6, 2012
– FreedomWorks Video on Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 based on Ayn Rand’s famous novel about freedom and the people who make the world work was released in a limited number of theaters on April 15. Most mainstream media reviews about the movie were negative. No surprise there. One can hardly expect a critic with a leftist outlook to embrace the ideas in this movie.

For a more informative article about the movie read Mark Skousen in Human Events:

The message of the film (and the novel) is clear: If the government intervenes too much in the economy, things can only get worse. As Ludwig von Mises stated, “Middle of the road policy leads to socialism.” In the movie, the action takes place in 2016, when the Dow has fallen below 4,000, gas prices exceed $37 a gallon, and the infrastructure is collapsing. Naturally, government officials and statist economists (Paul Krugman types) blame the troubles on greedy selfish capitalists.

Parallels to America under Obama’s reign are unmistakable. FreedomWorks created a mash-up of the movie and the Obama & Co. speeches that shows the connection between the movie and our predicament today:

I saw the movie last weekend and I found it a worthy effort. Whether the second and third parts of the movie will be made will depend largely on the success of the first part. So go to the movie’s website and find a theater near you to go see Atlas Shrugged!

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“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. ”
– Benjamin Franklin

You may have seen this latest video (via Hot Air) of the shameful behavior of the TSA which should stand for Totalitarian Surveillance Authority.

If this were to happen to my daughter I would probably go to jail.

Why are Americans behaving like sheep led to be slaughtered when facing increasing government interference in our lives? Is there a point at which Americans will simply stop accepting the government’s actions and rise up against such abuses of power? Or are people so stupid that they actually believe that the TSA groping us when we board planes has anything to do with safety or preventing terrorism? It seems like many Americans have become total wimps when it comes to confronting the creeping totalitarianism of the Obama regime. There comes a point when blaming the politicians is not enough. A majority of voters elected Obama. Do people that throw overboard a freedom-focused culture of two centuries and accept government meddling in more and more aspects of their lives still deserve to be free?

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While Republicans in Congress are falling short of their promise to cut at least $100 billion in spending for the rest of the fiscal year, Republican governors are starting to address the root cause of many of our states teetering on becoming the American equivalent of Greece. They are changing unsustainable terms for benefits and pensions of public employees.

Chris Christie of New Jersey has become just about the most popular politician in the country during his first year as governor by pursuing austerity in the state budget. Now, a new crop of governors including Rick Scott in Florida and John Kasich in Ohio are following similar paths. Rick Scott has turned down billions of dollars in federal taxpayer money to subsidize building of a high speed rail line which would ultimately cost the Florida taxpayers billions and for which there is no demonstrated economic need.

But the fastest rising star among the new governors is Scott Walker of Wisconsin whose challenge to public employee unions sparked protests by government employees in Madison, the state capital. All fourteen Democrats in the state senate have fled the state in order to deny Republicans a quorum to vote on Walker’s proposed bill. President Obama has again entered the debate on a state issue by attacking the side voted into office last November and defending public employee unions. Governor Walker’s response to Obama has been that the president should be focused on the deficit in Washington. Effectively he told the president to mind his own business.

Here is Governor Walker explaining what he is doing (via The Right Scoop):

Walker is standing by his proposal which still offers terms to public employees more generous than those enjoyed by most employees in the private sector. He also insists that there have to be some limits on the public unions’ collective bargaining rights so that state and local governments can meet the demands of the voters of Wisconsin and eliminate government spending they cannot afford.

We desperately need in Washington the clarity on the issues and resolve to address them that governors like Scott Walker and Chris Christie bring at the state level. Will Republican leaders in Congress join their freshman colleagues who were elected with Tea Party support and draw a firm line on cutting federal spending in every area including entitlements and defense?

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Today, President Obama demonstrated again that he is not serious about defending America against the biggest threat to our future: runaway government spending. He proposed a budget with a record $1.65 trillion deficit for 2012. No surprise there.

Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has offered an appropriate response about Obama “punting” on the budget crisis:

But let’s look a little deeper into the Republicans’ action on spending because we have been disappointed before. Last year, Republicans published a pledge to cut discretionary spending to 2008 levels, i.e. before the financial meltdown, TARP, the bailouts, etc. They promised that they would save at least $100 billion.

Over the past week, Republicans have stumbled in keeping that pledge when it comes to spending for the rest of the year. Rather than reducing discretionary spending to 2008 levels, they proposed initially to cut much less not from current spending, but from Obama’s proposed 2011 budget which was never passed. They have since increased the amount, but they still have failed to keep their promise to go back to 2008 levels. Radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt has covered this issue extensively on his show and on his blog.

Some Republican like John Campbell of California are trying to fix this issue in amendments that will be voted on later this week. See Hugh Hewitt’s “The Pledge-Keepers”: Congressman John Campbell’s Two Budget Amendments.

We hope that the Republican representatives elected with Tea Party support will support Congressman Campbell’s amendments and reject the position of Republicans that have been compromised by Washington’s culture of spending and still don’t get why we sent eighty-seven new Republicans to Congress in November.

Beyond this current test of Republican resolve, Republican will need to take the lead in having what Paul Ryan calls an “adult conversation” with the American people about the long-term spending on so-called non-discretionary items including Social Security and Medicare. No one advocates any cuts for current recipients and those who are close to retirement. But why do we have to wait decades to raise the retirement age? People today live longer and healthier lives. For example, what’s wrong with raising the retirement age to 70 for everyone under the age of 50 today? Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future isn’t this aggressive on the retirement age, but it outlines a plan to return America to fiscal sanity avoiding the fate of Greece.

Opinion polls show that most Americans are still in denial about the need for spending cuts. A recent poll shows that most Americans have no idea that we cannot balance the budget without cutting more than foreign aid:

What Republicans need to realize is that the Tea Party movement recognizes the need for across-the-board spending cuts and Americans are more ready than ever for an adult conversation on this topic. The polls reflect a lack of understanding of what makes up our deficit. This is the time for Republicans to inform and educate the public about what needs to be done to achieve what the vast of Americans agrees is necessary in principle.

Americans who want us to return to constitutional limited government have a responsibility to understand that this is our last chance to avoid a financial catastrophe and that this will require not just cuts, but elimination of entire programs. Republicans have an unprecedented opportunity to lead, inform and educate people. If they fail to do so, they will lose support of the Tea Party movement in 2012 and we will most like be faced with a ruinous second term for President Obama.

In leading and being frank about the issue, Republicans take the risk that not enough people will understand the message and will reject them in favor of the Democrats’ fairy tales about a government that caters to everyone. That is a risk worth taking. If they succeed, they will be responsible for what Allen West recently called a “new dawn for America” and they will be the trusted majority party for a generation. If they honestly and effectively advocate limited constitutional government and a majority of Americans reject their message, then they will at least have offered American a final chance to keep the principles the United States was founded on.

If we do nothing to change the current state, a decline of America is inevitable. The American people today face a huge responsibility in prevent this decline. But America needs leaders that can show the way to a new dawn with confidence. Republican must not shrink from the task ahead when they face inevitable lies that they will “hurt the poor” or that they will “cut your Social Security.” Everyone benefits when individual initiative is valued and the government stays out of our lives except where it is absolutely needed. When America prospers, we can be generous with those in need. Will Republican leaders have the backbone to stand up to the demagogues of the Left or will they revert once again to caving to the demands of the Left in the media and the Democrat Party?

Watch what happens and contact your representatives and senators in the coming weeks and months and urge them to stand firm in support of constitutional effective and efficient government and in keeping American free.

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