Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Patriotism Is Not a Crime

By Chris Slavens - Originally posted at

Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in Mexico, first marketed to Americans by Corona (yes, the beer company) in the 1980s for the express purpose of selling, well, beer. That it has been turned into a celebration of Mexican heritage is bizarre, and indicative of ignorance on the part of those who take it seriously. So why were five California students sent home from school on May 5 after showing up wearing American flag t-shirts?

One of the students (who happens to be half-Hispanic) claims that Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez called the shirts “incendiary.” Yet, on the next day, about 200 Hispanic students staged an illegal walk-out in the Morgan Hill Unified School District, shouting “Sí se puede” (which translates to “yes, it is possible” or “yes, we can”) and disrupting traffic. They were not disciplined by the school district, which begs the question, was Rodriguez’s decision to send the American-flag wearing students home racially motivated?

The First Amendment recognizes the God-given (or natural) right to free speech, which includes symbolic speech, or expression, a fact supported by numerous court decisions over the years. It applies, without exception, whether one is in a private residence, religious building, city park, or public school.

The administrators’ decision to punish students for expressing their patriotism on a Mexican drinking holiday is beyond absurd — it is flagrantly unconstitutional.

Students are free to wear what they choose to school; whether a shirt depicts an American flag, a Mexican flag, an anti-war slogan, or the face of Hitler, it is neither the duty nor the right of a school administrator to decide that certain expressions are permissible, while others are not.

And, no public official has the right to punish a citizen for wearing or displaying the American flag in the United States of America. Ever.

Fortunately, the school district seems to have gotten the message from outraged parents and patriots across the nation, and is responding correctly. Superintendent Wesley Smith wrote, in a statement released shortly after the incident occurred, that “students should not, and will not, be disciplined for wearing patriotic clothing. This matter is under investigation and appropriate action will be taken.” Some parents have called for the administrators in question to be fired.

Do Hispanic students have the right to display pride in their country of origin? Of course. The First Amendment does not choose sides; it protects all Americans equally. They have the right to do this, not only on May 5, but any other day of the year.

Yet, in this nation, America comes first. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. Our many ethnic backgrounds take second place to our pride in being, simply, Americans.

While Cinco de Mayo is an unofficial holiday enjoyed by many Americans, its hijacking by racist Mexican groups like La Raza—the members of which dare to be offended by the precious flag of the nation in which they live—shows that there are some who, even in the land of opportunity, enjoy stirring up trouble without the slightest provocation.

Five patriots wore American flag t-shirts to school. Two hundred anti-patriots walked out of school and marched on the streets. Which group’s expression was more “incendiary?”

Chris Slavens, former contributor to the Wilmington News Journal, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Everybody Draw Mo Mo

Guess what day it is?


Draw Mohammed Day!!

As you can see I wanted to keep it positive.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Obama's Internal Reporting Service?

By Howard Rich - Originally found at

America’s Founding Fathers envisioned a limited government in which laws were fairly and evenly enforced and justice was blind. Yet as government’s lust for additional power and its appetite for new spending have both exploded in recent years, so too has Washington’s apparent willingness to play politics with prosecutions and government leaks.

We saw this trend at work in the recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, which even a kindergartner could tell was timed to coincide with President Barack Obama’s “War on Wall Street” and the perpetuation of his failed bailout method of financial reform. We also saw it at work in the Florida U.S. Senate race, where an organized effort is underway to smear conservative candidate Marco Rubio.

In both cases these underhanded tactics worked – at least from public relations standpoint.

“Goldman case boosts financial reform efforts” one headline screamed. “Goldman charges bolster case for bank reform,” trumpeted another. “Goldman Sachs case could help Obama shift voter anger,” still another opined.

Of course Obama “categorically” denied that his administration had any involvement in the charges against Goldman – or any advance knowledge that the charges were being filed. In fact, he told reporters that his administration first heard of the lawsuit on television.

“We found out about it from CNBC,” Obama said.

That explanation strains credulity – particularly when you consider that Obama’s political machine, Organizing for America, purchased Google advertisements linked to the keywords “SEC” and “Goldman Sachs” just prior to the SEC announcing its lawsuit against the company. This was clearly a calculated move, which begs the question: What did Obama’s campaign team know that the White House (ostensibly) didn’t?

The Rubio case is every bit as suspicious. On the eve of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s decision to bolt the Republican Party and run for the U.S. Senate as an “independent” – headlines in the Sunshine State screamed of another curiously-timed scandal. Citing “sources familiar (with) the probe,” the anonymous allegation was made that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was investigating Rubio.

Rubio has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and maintains that no one from the IRS has contacted him. In fact, he has said that he “welcomes” any investigation into his finances. But the smears have damaged his campaign, as polls taken just prior to the leak showed Rubio leading Crist in a three-way race by seven points while two weeks later Rubio trails Crist by four percent.

It’s no secret why Rubio is being targeted. Months ago Crist was a shoe-in for the GOP nomination, but his Senate campaign collapsed when he began to embrace Obama and his failed economic policies. Could it be that Obama is now using the IRS as an “IOU” to bail out Crist’s flagging candidacy?

Internal Revenue Code prohibits the disclosure of confidential tax information or releasing details of an ongoing investigation – not only by the IRS but by any government employee at any agency, including the President. In fact, it’s a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. In the interests of uncovering the source of this illegal leak, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has filed requests with the Inspectors General at the IRS and the Justice Department asking both agencies to investigate. Additionally, we are asking members of Congress and the Obama administration to support this investigation as well as the prosecution of the perpetrator.

Only then can we be sure that this wasn’t a taxpayer-funded hit job.

In a broader sense, though, Obama’s allies need to be mindful that the executive branch of government exists for the purpose of administering our laws, not violating them. Their job is to conduct the people’s business, not engage in political espionage. America has already survived one administration full of taxpayer-funded “plumbers.” We cannot afford another.

The author is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Your Retirement Savings May Be Next

Originally found at:

By Rick Manning

Could the Democrats in Congress actually be considering confiscating all 401(k), SEP and IRA accounts in exchange for offering Americans a “guaranteed annuity”?

The subject almost seems too far out there to even write about. While it is something that I had heard rumors of, I just couldn’t believe this type of proposal would ever be considered in America. Let alone become part of an active public policy debate.

But when the Wall Street Journal writes on the subject, and the House Republicans on the committee that oversees our nation’s pension system send a letter expressing concern to both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis expressing concern, and then issue a press release on it, it is time to get concerned.

The least damaging scenario is that the Democrats are considering changes to the retirement security system that takes away the tax deductibility of retirement savings in exchange for using those dollars to create a new “guaranteed annuity” that will provide workers with a fixed amount each month. Sounding eerily like the insolvent Social Security system, these accounts would ensure that all people living in America had some small fixed amount of income each month in retirement.

However, this doesn’t really solve the biggest problem facing the Democrats. Their largest donors, organized labor, have a huge pension insolvency problem. Labor unions, both private and public, have severely mismanaged their pension funds. In fact, Moody’s considers many private funds to be in “critical condition”.

Believe it or not, public employee pension funds are in even worse shape. California’s public employee pension fund alone is reported to be underfunded by a whopping $500 billion (that’s half a trillion bucks or $500,000,000,000.00).

So, who has the money to make these colossal failures whole and keep union leaders and their members happy?

That’s right, you guessed it. The poor slob who doesn’t have a guaranteed pension, but has been putting off vacations and eating burger rather than steak for his/her whole career to put 5% of his income into a tax deferred retirement account is the one with the money. Right in his/her tax deferred retirement accounts.

According to the Investment Company Institute, in 2008, $2.4 trillion was invested by private citizens in 401(k) accounts.

Quite a tempting morsel of money if the Democrats in Congress can just convince the American public that they will be getting the security of a GUARANTEED payment every month, rather than dealing with the nasty ups and downs of the market.

As stated at the beginning of this piece, this isn’t yet a proposed law, but is merely a twinkle in the eye of those in the Obama Administration and in Congress who are desperate for cash to fill big labors pension black hole. But every bad idea starts as the twinkle in someone’s eye, and no bad idea seems to be too extreme for this gang of looters who have temporarily been given the keys to the nation.

So beware readers, when you start hearing about the need to avoid retirement risk coming from those who brought you government health care, and are in the process of putting into law a system that would monitor every single one of your financial transactions all under the guise of economic security.

Realize, that if you have been putting money away for your future, that these same jackals are eyeing your nest egg, to feather the nests of their political supporters.

Remember, forewarned is forearmed. So stay vigilant.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government, and the former Chief of Staff of the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Department of Labor that oversees the 401(k) system.