Western Free Press http://www.westernfreepress.com Straight News & Strong Opinion. Arizona Politics and Arizona Elections Tue, 26 May 2015 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Eliminating the Electoral College Would Be a Disaster http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/eliminating-the-electoral-college-would-be-a-disaster/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/eliminating-the-electoral-college-would-be-a-disaster/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 23:30:32 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=387156 Vote fraud . . . the elimination of the need for politicians to care about anyone outside of big cities . . . the elimination of state sovereignty.

All items on the left’s agenda, and oh look at which states have signed on to the National Popular Vote scam. Surprise, surprise.

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Vote fraud . . . the elimination of the need for politicians to care about anyone outside of big cities . . . the elimination of state sovereignty.

All items on the left’s agenda, and oh look at which states have signed on to the National Popular Vote scam. Surprise, surprise.

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WHY MEMORIAL DAY is more than just cookouts and family gatherings http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/why-memorial-day-is-more-than-just-cookouts-and-family-gatherings/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/why-memorial-day-is-more-than-just-cookouts-and-family-gatherings/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 21:40:51 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=388707 It has been a long, cold, hard, and record breaking winter. Spring got a late start in many parts of the country but finally, the warmer summer weather is here. It is the unofficial – official start to the summer season. It is Memorial Day and that is usually the kickoff of all things summer.

Kids are eagerly awaiting for that last day of class. Parents are making those last minute plans for summer vacation. Resorts all over the country are ...]]> It has been a long, cold, hard, and record breaking winter. Spring got a late start in many parts of the country but finally, the warmer summer weather is here. It is the unofficial – official start to the summer season. It is Memorial Day and that is usually the kickoff of all things summer.

Kids are eagerly awaiting for that last day of class. Parents are making those last minute plans for summer vacation. Resorts all over the country are gearing up for non-stop guests. This is the time we gather in the neighborhood for grilling in the back yard, on the deck or, if you live in the city or in an apartment building, cook outs on the balcony. It seems we all find a way to cook outside and spend time with family and friends. People in small towns gather on the town square or throw a block BBQ. In short, we do what we do best. We act American on a day such as this by eating hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ chicken, potato salad apple pie, and beer. Lots of beer.

But there is a bigger meaning behind this particular day. Like with many of our major holidays, there is a bigger, a deeper meaning.

Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday in the month of May since 1868 after the end of the American Civil War. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, established this day for the nation to remember and decorate the graves of war dead with flowers. The key here is to “remember” the war dead of this great nation. Every single soldier who gave their lives for this nation did so with the purpose of great meaning and ideology. That ideology was that of liberty, freedom for their family, their friends, their neighbors, their countrymen and their posterity. It was a sacrifice that has no equal.

You see, they would not be able to enjoy all that they fought and died for. They would not enjoy the BBQ chicken and hot dogs and hamburgers. They would not see the cemeteries lined with flags of the Union or the flowers that decorate their head stones. The war dead would not get to share in the freedom in which they fought and died in order to preserve. We not only have a duty to remember and thank them. It is our obligation. A noble and sincere obligation that should not be taken lightly.

You see, if they had not been willing to give the ultimate of sacrifices, you and I would not have a holiday to celebrate the coming of summer. We would not enjoy the parades. We would not have a day off from work and school. We would be serving another master, another tyrant, another dictator, another king. None of whom would give us a say in how we are governed or how we live.

Yes, this is a short article. It is short because the notion is simple. On this day, every day for sure, but on this day in particular, I implore you to remember that you are American. And as Americans to revere and remember all those who gave them the freedom to enjoy the back yard gatherings that we have grown to love and cherish. What is more important than those gatherings is that we have the liberty to gather without fear of the government breaking up the festivities and throwing the hosts into dark jails shackled and chained.

On this day, Memorial Day, all I can say is … REMEMBER.

Thank you and God Bless America and God Bless all those who have served.

 

Image

Source: jks Lola
License: Public Domain

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Teaching US History – Inside the Trojan Horse Called ‘Common Core’ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/teaching-us-history-inside-the-trojan-horse-called-common-core/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/teaching-us-history-inside-the-trojan-horse-called-common-core/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 19:00:48 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=388591 “Shouldn’t we have high standards?”

That’s the usual rejoinder one hears when Americans express suspicion over “Common Core” standards. But Americans are very right to be suspicious.

The fuss we’ve heard over math standards and teaching methods is certainly warranted, but it’s a mere distraction next to the much bigger target: the teaching of our United States history.

Math and English are only the outer shell of the Trojan Horse that is Common Core. Inside that huge decoy lies the real political agenda, driven by the mighty College Board. ...]]> Theprocessionofthetrojanhorseintroybygiovannidomenicotiepolo“Shouldn’t we have high standards?”

That’s the usual rejoinder one hears when Americans express suspicion over “Common Core” standards. But Americans are very right to be suspicious.

The fuss we’ve heard over math standards and teaching methods is certainly warranted, but it’s a mere distraction next to the much bigger target: the teaching of our United States history.

Math and English are only the outer shell of the Trojan Horse that is Common Core. Inside that huge decoy lies the real political agenda, driven by the mighty College Board.  It is the revisionist teaching of US History with a distinctly negative view, and it has been going on for many years. Dennis Prager calls it the “proctologist’s view” of American History, and Lynne Cheney has written an excellent essay on the subject.

The two videos below contain the clearest explanation I’ve heard of how the Left hopes to nail down their version of US History as the “standard” version, one on which students will be tested in College Board achievement exams. Students need to score well on those exams for entry into college. Common Core and the College Board are tightly coupled. In fact, David Coleman, the architect of Common Core is now president of the College Board.

Zinn1As you’ll hear in the interview, the Left’s view, embodied in textbooks like Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States, is one that consistently emphasizes the negative at the expense of the positive. Through implicit comparisons to an idealized utopian, egalitarian society, it cultivates shame over past transgressions and acceptance of Big Government as the path forward to that utopia. It especially disregards the traditional notion that individual freedom and responsibility are what made America the greatest, freest, and most prosperous nation that has ever existed.

The video below is in two parts. The first part may be surprising to people who have only heard about Common Core for its weird ways of teaching math.  The second part talks about a possible solution based on competition for the now-compromised and Leftism-saturated College Board exams covering US History.

By way of introduction, Stanley Kurtz is a former liberal and Harvard PhD in Social Anthropology who has escaped the black-hole-like attraction of liberalism / progressivism / statism group-think that infests most college campuses today. He speaks calmly and clearly, and his warnings and admonitions have the ring of truth.

These videos are excerpts from a larger Ginni Thomas Daily Caller interview available at this link.

(Photos are from Google images, tagged as public domain and modifiable, including commercially.)

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Social Injustice http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/social-injustice/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/social-injustice/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 17:50:40 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=385808 A few years ago, I gave a talk at a local Rotary Club. During the Q&A session, a member of the audience identified himself as a liberal and took me to task over something I’d said about Muslims. After trying, and no doubt failing, to set him straight, I asked him why he was a liberal. He puffed himself up, as these jerks are prone to do, and said it was mainly because he believed in social justice.

I’m not sure ...]]> A few years ago, I gave a talk at a local Rotary Club. During the Q&A session, a member of the audience identified himself as a liberal and took me to task over something I’d said about Muslims. After trying, and no doubt failing, to set him straight, I asked him why he was a liberal. He puffed himself up, as these jerks are prone to do, and said it was mainly because he believed in social justice.

I’m not sure if I called him a fool or only thought it, but I did point out to him that justice is justice, and doesn’t require any adjectives. In fact, once you begin to modify it, you’re perverting its meaning. The ideal, I explained, was one set of rules for rich and poor, black and white, men and women, young and old, liberals and conservatives, Muslims and Christians.

It was bad enough having to explain all this to a fellow American. What made it worse is that he had identified himself as a lawyer.

But we are seeing this foolishness played out all over the place. A black thug gets shot in Ferguson while avoiding arrest and we see the President and the Attorney General promise to deliver justice to the rioters.

In Baltimore, we saw the prosecutor promise, not merely to see justice rendered, but to see it rendered to the satisfaction of the mob.

This pandering to the vandals has been going on for some time, and it is only getting worse. As destructive as so-called social justice is to America, you will notice that it is only employed when the presumed victim is black. In the same way, only whites are prosecuted for hate crimes, although blacks are far likelier to target their victims specifically because they happen to be Caucasians.

I have no doubt that however the trials of the six indicted cops turn out, Marilyn Mosby will become the next mayor of Baltimore just as soon as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake uses her own newfound celebrity to run for Congress, no doubt with Al Sharpton’s endorsement.

Theoretically, every defendant in America is presumed innocent. But thanks to liberals and their corrupt cohorts in the media, cops are the exception. Even if no charges have been leveled, be it in L.A., Ferguson, Staten Island or Baltimore, the folks who risk their lives to safeguard our own are always presumed guilty.

A reader insisted that, contrary to what I wrote in a recent piece, politicians and bureaucrats rarely say “I take full responsibility.” I corrected her, pointing out that they actually utter those words every time they’re discovered causing mischief. The problem is that in the old days, those four words were a prelude to a resignation or an indictment. Today, the miscreants say it the way a cop at the scene of an accident says, “Nothing to see here. Now let’s move along.”

When another reader shared the news that CVS was actually planning to rebuild its store in Baltimore’s war zone, I replied, “Well, you know the old saying: Burn me down once, shame on you. Burn me down twice, shame on me.”

A third reader let me know that his favorite drawings at the Muhammad cartoon festival in Texas, where a couple of jihadists got to meet their Maker thanks to a quick-thinking, quick-shooting, cop, were the two chalk outlines on the sidewalk.

Speaking of which, I couldn’t believe the idiots who, like Bill O’Reilly, said that the group should never have sponsored such a provocative event. Fortunately, O’Reilly’s Fox colleague, Megyn Kelly, reminded him that this is still America. Thanks to the First Amendment, we still have the right to ridicule everyone and everything – and that certainly includes the pedophile who founded Islam, the very same religion that 1,400 years later is encouraging its savage followers to burn, behead and crucify, non-believers. So, thanks all the same, Bill, but neither I nor America really needs a shmoe like you to look out for us.

Some teams seem predestined. For instance, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were mediocre silent screen comedians until Hal Roach saw something in them that, if combined, would be magical. Ginger Rogers had been in a series of lousy, low budget, RKO films for years before Fred Astaire came along and danced “The Continental” with her in “Flying Down to Rio.” Astaire, himself, had already been dismissed by a studio executive as looking like a whippet who could dance a little. But once they became Astaire and Rogers, it was said that he gave her class and she gave him sex appeal, and, together, they provided us with four or five of the most charming musicals ever produced.

Then we have the Clintons. Some marriages are said to be made in Heaven, but God only knows where their union was forged. But it, too, seems predestined. After all, who else could either of them have possibly married who would have put up with his sexual depravity or her pathological lying?

Finally, a personal note to my dear readers: I appreciate your thinking of me, but I really wish you’d all stop sending me links and videos. For some reason, when I’ve emailed this message to individuals, they sometimes take it as a personal affront. Considering how much time I devote to responding to my readers’ text messages, I don’t know why anyone would be offended. There is, after all, only so much time in the day and, frankly, I prefer dealing with email pertaining to something I’ve written, be they comments, questions or even insults.

I suppose some people are so ultra-sensitive that they even take bad weather personally. But, as I see it, if you offer me some candy and I don’t care for candy or am dieting or suffering from diabetes, you certainly wouldn’t take my refusal the wrong way.

So, please, no more candy…unless, of course, it’s those irresistible peanut M&Ms.

 

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Source: PublicDomainPictures.net
License: Public Domain

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Peak oil: Just another thing the left is wrong about http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/peak-oil-just-another-thing-the-left-is-wrong-about/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/peak-oil-just-another-thing-the-left-is-wrong-about/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 16:00:38 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=59727 Reading a recent article by Stephen Moore, I was struck by a trenchant line:

Apparently, Obama never read “The Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon which teaches us that human ingenuity in finding new resources outpaces resource depletion.

Human ingenuity. It all comes down to that. It always comes down to that. Human beings find a way.

While some are predicting permanent austerity, others are innovating and expanding the economy.

While some lament (or even call ...]]>

Reading a recent article by Stephen Moore, I was struck by a trenchant line:

Apparently, Obama never read “The Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon which teaches us that human ingenuity in finding new resources outpaces resource depletion.

Human ingenuity. It all comes down to that. It always comes down to that. Human beings find a way.

While some are predicting permanent austerity, others are innovating and expanding the economy.

While some lament (or even call for!) a life of declining living standards, others creating products, services, and technology that improve human existence.

While some fear environmental degradation, others are working on thorium reactors and clean energy sources that may change the world.

While some sit and poke at the sand, angry at the desert for being a desert, others bring water and turn it green.

It’s all about human capital. You can be one of the doomsayers who cannot imagine anything beyond the era in which he lives, or you can push the boundaries of our very reality and find new ways to make life better.

The former attitude leads to whining about things like “peak oil.” The latter creates revolutions that bring us things like this:

No peak oil in sight: We’ve got an unprecedented upsurge in global oil production underway

WorldOil

In the tradition of resource economist Julian Simon, here are some of the conclusions and predictions from new research just published by Harvard Research Fellow Leonardo Maugeri, titled “Oil: The Next Revolution; The Unprecedented Upsurge of Oil Production Capacity”

1. Contrary to what most people believe, oil is not in short supply and oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. From a purely physical point of view, there are huge volumes of conventional and unconventional oils still to be developed, with no “peak-oil” in sight. The full deployment of the world’s oil potential depends only on price, technology, and political factors. More than 80 percent of the additional production under development globally appears to be . . .

keep reading

And this

marcellus

Natural gas production in the Marcellus Region reached a new milestone by surpassing 15 billion cubic feet per day in July, according to new production estimates released today by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Over the last three years, natural gas production in the Marcellus Region has increased by more than three times, from 4.7 billion cubic feet per day in July 2011 to 15.23 billion cubic feet in July of this year (see chart above). Since 2007 when the shale boom first started in the Marcellus gas fields, natural gas production there has increased about 14 times, from just over one billion cubic feet per day in early 2007. The EIA estimates that Marcellus natural gas production will increase further to almost 15.5 billion cubic feet in August, making this one of the most remarkable energy success stories in US history.

What economic impact has the increase in natural gas production had on the Marcellus Region? Here’s how it’s affected . . .

keep reading

You can be one of the whiners or one of the innovators. Which will it be?

Of course, you could also be one of the regulators—people who seek to control the innovators and their innovations. They’re the reason that small restaurants in western New York are closing their doors while towns in Pennsylvania, right across the border, are booming.

Talk about the dichotomy between being part of the solution and part of the problem!

 

Image:

Source: Circe Denyer
License: Public Domain

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America’s Memorial Day Tradition http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/americas-memorial-day-tradition/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/25/americas-memorial-day-tradition/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 12:15:55 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=388436 America’s long tradition of Memorial Day began 150 years ago in Waterloo, New York, when a local druggist named Henry C. Wells urged his friends to honor the Civil War dead by placing flowers on their graves. The first formal observance was held the next year.

Over the decades, the day of remembrance for the nation’s war dead evolved from Decoration Day, named for the tradition of placing flowers on the graves of the fallen, to today’s Memorial Day, designated to provide ...]]> America’s long tradition of Memorial Day began 150 years ago in Waterloo, New York, when a local druggist named Henry C. Wells urged his friends to honor the Civil War dead by placing flowers on their graves. The first formal observance was held the next year.

Over the decades, the day of remembrance for the nation’s war dead evolved from Decoration Day, named for the tradition of placing flowers on the graves of the fallen, to today’s Memorial Day, designated to provide a three-day weekend with the emphasis on a national tribute on Monday.

The Memorial Day weekend brings parades, concerts, and gatherings. But it remains a solemn day of remembrance and mourning for those who sacrificed their lives to defend the freedom of their own and future generations.

Following are highlights of the origin, history, and meaning of the nation’s Memorial Day tradition:

* Gen. John Murray and Henry Wells led the village of Waterloo in its first formal, village-wide observance of the day on May 5, 1866. The village was decorated with flags at half staff, evergreens and black fabric to signify mourning. Veterans, civic societies and residents, led by Gen. Murray, marched to the strains of martial music to the three village cemeteries, where graves were decorated.

* On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a Presidential Proclamation recognizing Waterloo as the Birthplace of Memorial Day. “By House Concurrent Resolution 587, the Eighty-ninth Congress has officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day began one hundred years ago in Waterloo, New York.”

* Text from the speech President Johnson made on May 26, 1966: “On this Memorial Day, as we honor the memory of brave men who have borne our colors in war, we pray to God for His mercy. We pray for the wisdom to find a way to end this struggle of nation against nation, of brother against brother. We pray that soon we may begin to build the only true memorial to man’s valor in war — a sane and hopeful environment for the generations to Come.”

* Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day; it referred to the practice of decorating Civil War soldiers’ tombs with bouquets of lilacs and other fresh flowers. Some states and governments continue to use that name.

* Many Southern states also have their own days for honoring the Confederate dead. Mississippi celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on the last Monday of April, Alabama on the fourth Monday of April. North and South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia also have days of remembering Confederate soldiers.

* It wasn’t until after World War I that the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all wars, not just the Civil War. In 1971, years after President Johnson’s presidential proclamation, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, which also established it would be celebrated the last Monday of May.

* Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving; Veterans Day (Nov. 11) celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

* The National Moment of Remembrance encourages Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died. During the minute, a member of a military band traditionally plays “Taps” at the White House.

* To search for burial locations of veterans, check the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website: gravelocator.cem.va.gov. The Nationwide Gravesite Locator includes burial records from many sources, including private cemeteries. The information was originally collected so the government could place grave markers for each veteran, but now the searchable database can help connect family members or those wanting to honor the fallen.

* On Memorial Day, government buildings briskly raise the American flag to the top of the staff and then lower it to the half-staff position, where it remains until noon. It is then raised to full staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than 1 million men and women who died. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

 

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Video: Fossil fuels have HELPED the environment http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/video-fossil-fuels-have-helped-the-environment/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/video-fossil-fuels-have-helped-the-environment/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 23:10:52 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=387312 “Why You Should Love Fossil Fuel,” aka, what you understand if you’re not a raging hypocrite living in unicorn and rainbow land.

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“Why You Should Love Fossil Fuel,” aka, what you understand if you’re not a raging hypocrite living in unicorn and rainbow land.

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Video: IRS Seizes $107,000 From Law Abiding Man’s Bank Account http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/video-irs-seizes-107000-from-law-abiding-mans-bank-account/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/video-irs-seizes-107000-from-law-abiding-mans-bank-account/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 21:05:01 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=386809 If you cannot see that this is government run amok, you need a serious reality check.

More here.

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If you cannot see that this is government run amok, you need a serious reality check.

More here.

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ISIS is Now Bigger than Great Britain http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/isis-is-now-bigger-than-great-britain/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/isis-is-now-bigger-than-great-britain/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 19:15:39 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=387493 Status of ISIS

ISIS is advancing in Syria, Iraq and Libya

A key Iraqi city, Ramadi, located less than 80 miles from Baghdad, fell this past weekend.

The ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, 130 miles from Damascus, was seized by ISIS yesterday. Roman artifacts from the 1st century A.D. – part of a UNESCO historic site – are being threatened with destruction by the Islamic State.

Today, a major city in Libya, Sirte, was taken over by the jihadist group.

Last summer, ISIS blew up ...]]> Status of ISIS

ISIS is advancing in Syria, Iraq and Libya

A key Iraqi city, Ramadi, located less than 80 miles from Baghdad, fell this past weekend.

The ancient city of Palmyra, Syria, 130 miles from Damascus, was seized by ISIS yesterday. Roman artifacts from the 1st century A.D. – part of a UNESCO historic site – are being threatened with destruction by the Islamic State.

Today, a major city in Libya, Sirte, was taken over by the jihadist group.

Last summer, ISIS blew up the ancient walls of Nineveh, the oldest city of the Assyrian empire, dating back to 700 B.C. In Mosul, the modern Iraqi city that encircles Nineveh, an 8th century B.C. shrine to the biblical prophet, Jonah, was demolished by jihadists.
The Associated Press reports that nearly 17,000 foreigners from 90 countries are reinforcing the jihadi ranks. By some accounts, ISIS may now control more than half of Syria, including most of its gas and oil fields. Combined with its territory in Iraq, the Islamic State is larger than Great Britain.

Recall that in 2001, another Islamic terrorist group, the Taliban, dynamited the Bamiyan Buddhas carved into the side of a cliff during the 6th century.

In 2012, Muslim clerics called for the destruction of Egypt’s ancient pyramids and the Sphinx.

Major General and Air Force command pilot (retired) Thomas Mcinnerney, recently stated in an interview that the current 5-7 per day U.S. air strikes in the region are wholly inadequate for the situation at hand. He described a typical defense for this kind of situation as comprising 300-500 air attacks daily.

Janet Levy,
Los Angeles

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What Are the Tea Party Patriots and NAACP Doing Together? http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/what-are-the-tea-party-patriots-and-naacp-doing-together/ http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/05/24/what-are-the-tea-party-patriots-and-naacp-doing-together/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 18:20:02 +0000 http://www.westernfreepress.com/?p=386782 In an odd coupling, the Tea Party Patriots and NAACP have joined forces.  Wonder why?

NewsObserver.com:

It’s not often that the NAACP and the tea party agree on much of anything, but we have come together over a common concern to fight for a common cause: We want our government to stop spying on innocent Americans.

The government claims the legal authority to collect records of your personal, private conversations with your significant other, spouse, doctor, pastor or lawyer – all without ...]]> In an odd coupling, the Tea Party Patriots and NAACP have joined forces.  Wonder why?

NewsObserver.com:

It’s not often that the NAACP and the tea party agree on much of anything, but we have come together over a common concern to fight for a common cause: We want our government to stop spying on innocent Americans.

The government claims the legal authority to collect records of your personal, private conversations with your significant other, spouse, doctor, pastor or lawyer – all without a warrant or any evidence of wrongdoing. It can turn on your computer’s webcam in your own home without your knowing, provided it gets a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret court that approves 99.96 of the government’s requests.

Last week, the House passed the USA Freedom Act, a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the bulk collection of phone records. But while the bill would stop the government from collecting phone records en masse, it would not stop it from accessing those records from telephone companies so long as it gets approval the FISC. And it doesn’t address government spying abuses authorized by other surveillance authorities.

Clearly, this reform is not enough. We need a broad overhaul of the government’s surveillance powers, and the people of North Carolina know this. A recent bipartisan poll commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union found that more than 80 percent of voters in the state find it concerning that the government is collecting and storing the personal information of Americans.

As the USA Freedom Act moves to the Senate this week, we urge Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to pull the plug and let Section 215 expire. By wiping the slate clean, our country can have the much-needed debate about how much of our liberty and privacy we are willing to give up in the name of domestic surveillance.

Be it members of the NAACP or, more recently, members of the tea party, the fact is our government has too often, during the most challenging of times, targeted those who wish to struggle for positive change or demand accountability in the name of the common man or the underserved. We have all been on the receiving end of government overreach and other abuses, and this is why we stand united today.

Jenny Beth Martin is the co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots. Hilary O. Shelton is the director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and senior vice president for policy and advocacy.

 

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Source:  PublicDomainPictures.net

License:  Public Domain

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