Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Blood of Religious Liberty Enabled Freedom of Speech

February 29, 2012
By Geoffrey P. Hunt

Around the turn of the 2nd century, St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, was condemned by a Roman tribunal to be torn apart and eaten by lions in the Coliseum.  What was his crime?  Ignatius was condemned because his speech was subversive to the Roman social order.  Having a public audience worsened his exercise of free speech; speaking freely in front of an assembled mob was the real crime.

Speaking and teaching the Gospels, according to the Apostles, of whom John was Ignatius' mentor, was the content of Ignatius' speech.  Moreover, Ignatius is credited with asserting the notion of the Church as universal and catholic, from the Greek katholikos.

But Ignatius's death sentence didn't chill his free speech.  He managed to preach in dozens of venues along the route of a condemned man from Syria to Rome.  There are at least seven letters from Ignatius, written during his death march, considered to be authentic, and perhaps another half dozen attributed but of disputed origin.  His epistles ranged from declaring the divinity of Jesus to the central truth of the Eucharist being the body of Christ to the need for hierarchy and structure in the Church.  All religious speech -- all about religious doctrine and religious polity.

The lives of the Christian saints, chronicled by three centuries of persecution and martyrdom at the hands of Roman oppressors, all had storylines akin to Ignatius's, although his prolific writings at that time made him more prominent than most.  The bloody and horrifying struggle to assert religious speech, assembly, and organization was relieved only by the conversion and intercession of Constantine in the 4th century.

Where were the secularists, apart from Socrates 700 years earlier, extolling the virtues of unfettered political speech?  There weren't any.  Because the most radical idea worth dying for was the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  Christian theology remained the most compelling font of intellectual inquiry and discourse until the 17th century.  And in England, the wellspring of free political speech, religious protagonists schooled the monarchy, the establishmentarian Church, and political scientists about freedom of conscience and the merits of a pluralistic society.

Now, it is also true that over the ensuing 1,200 years since Constantine, religious speech, doctrine, and polity were co-opted by the state.  In the most remarkable contradiction of history, despite the cruel oppressions of free speech from the unholy alliances amongst monarchs and the Church, the origins of analytical thinking, intellectual rigor, and the exercise of free conscience came from theologians, apologists, and non-conformists within the Church.  From Tertullian to Augustine to Thomas Aquinas to Martin Luther, battles for free speech, assembly, petition, and press, the exercise of publicly displayed freedom of conscience and pursuit of intellectual discourse -- all took place within the Church or by churchmen.

Yet we've become accustomed into thinking that rights to free speech and assembly arrived via an asteroid, spontaneous combustion, or even a virgin birth (as George Weigel quips in The Cube and the Cathedral) around the time of the 1688 English Bill of Rights -- an event unconnected to religious libertyNo, the struggle to secure freedom of conscience and the right to assemble predate the English Bill of Rights by some 1,500 years, in the Christian era.  It was religious speech, exercised and practiced in public forums, under the ever-present perils from boiling oil, gnarling beasts, evisceration, and crucifixion, that enabled freedoms of speech, assembly, press, and petition everywhere else, albeit a millennium later -- not the other way around.

Public exhortations on free speech from outside the Church came only as late in 1644 from John Milton in Areopagitica, predating his Paradise Lost by some 25 years.  Areopagitica was Milton's printed speech to Parliament on the necessity for uncensored license in printing tracts, essays, and opinions.  Milton acknowledged God's endowment to mankind of free will, the ability to reason leading to freedom of conscience and freedom to express one's voice without interference.  While his temerity in arguing for free speech at the high point of the English Civil War was laudable, even Milton fell short of heroics.  His screed, taking aim at Royalists and the establishmentarian English Church as well as the imagined resurgence of Roman Catholicism, had a convenient cover from his sympathies for the ascendant Cromwell and the Puritans.

So, while Enlightenment thinkers and secular politicians are usually given birthright for securing guarantees to free speech, they were largely on the sidelines, bystanders as the wars took their tolls inside the Church and upon religious separatists.  The entire 17th century in Britain was dominated by the religious Civil War and persistent instability, with unspeakable horrors visited upon non-conformists and dissenters, only partially quenched at the end of the bloody era by the 1688 English Bill of Rights and the 1689 Act of Toleration, with the English parliament granting limited religious accommodations to only a few non-conformists, conditioned upon a loyalty oath.

It was James II, a Roman Catholic and a champion of religious liberty, who issued a Declaration of Indulgence, or declaration of liberty of conscience, before he was exiled in 1688 -- at least a year before the English Bill of Rights.  By the time John Locke had written his Treatises, and free speech agitation had already arrived from the pulpits and pamphlets of hundreds of English religious dissenters, most notably Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, and other athletic Protestant dissenters, led by Baptist John Bunyan and Quaker William Penn, who first and foremost were religious thinkers, pursuing freedom of conscience in the face of imprisonment and ruin. 

We've been brainwashed into thinking that religious liberty -- independent, pluralistic religious practices and the free exercise thereof, now under attack by the contraceptives and abortifacients mandate under president Obama's health care plan -- exists solely from the magnanimous secular writers of the First Amendment.  

Moreover, liberal elites insist that religious liberty can be suppressed, blithely ignored, with impunity.  They believe that First-Amendment protections for speech, press, and petition would remain unaffected while religious liberty is crushed.  That sequence is not only backward, but impossible.

It is religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and the right to assemble in order to practice community religious tenets that preceded and framed free speech everywhere else and anchored the First Amendment.  Without religious liberty, the foundations under the First Amendment would collapse.

The right to privacy -- or in the vernacular, the right to be left alone, unmolested by the state -- and its handmaiden, the right to free expression and assembly, is wholly derived from 1,500 years of religious liberty on trial.  Who could have imagined that the right to privacy -- stemming from centuries to secure religious liberty -- underscoring Roe v. Wade and the specific argument used in Griswold v. Connecticut overturning a ban on contraceptives, is now being tossed aside under President Obama's health plan contraceptives and abortifacients mandate?

Obama's assault on religious liberty is not just some benign sharp elbowing to advance his socialist health care agenda.  If religious liberty can be dismantled, even piecemeal, wholesale erosion of the rest of the First Amendment rights won't be far behind.

Hat Tip to George Weigel.  His book The Cube and the Cathedral inspired the thesis behind this piece.

American Thinker

Fast and Furious: Another Straw-Purchaser, Another Federal Agent Dead (and Still Holder won’t Comply)

Just when the Fast and Furious investigation seemed to hit a lull, and many were wondering what was going to come of it or whether it might quietly fade away without anyone being prosecuted, another weapon that was obtained via a straw purchase in the U.S. and carried across the Mexican border has been identified. This one is “connected to the murder of Immigration and Customs (ICE) Agent Jaime Zapata,” which took place in February 2011. And suffice it to say, AG Eric Holder is on the hot seat all over again.

 Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is looking into the DOJ’s role in Agent Zapata’s murder, and believes the weapon which was used came from a program similar to Fast and Furious. Which means that no one knows whether the gun-walking tied to Fast and Furious was ended, as Holder said it was, only to be started again under another program (with another name), or whether the gun walking tied to Fast and Furious simply continued longer than Holder claims it did. And this brings the focus back to the head of the DOJ’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, “who suggested letting some illicit ‘straw’ weapons buyers in the U.S. [to] transport their guns across the border into Mexico where they could be arrested.” Was Breuer’s suggestion adopted for Fast and Furious or was it adopted for another program that supplied the weapon with which Agent Zapata was killed?

During an appearance on FOX News on February 28, Issa said the DOJ is “refusing to cooperate” with the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the murder of Agent Zapata. (No surprise there.) But Issa made it clear: “I have told the Attorney General that it is contemptible, and I will seek, if necessary, contempt of the House, if we can’t get cooperation under the constitution in our investigation.”

The bottom line, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death can now be listed as one of two federal agents who were killed by weapons knowingly purchased by straw purchasers and moved across the border on our DOJ’s watch.  For the Terry family and for the Zapata family, the truth behind Fast and Furious must be uncovered and those who planned it, oversaw it, and covered it up, must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Congressman Issa appears focused on making sure this happens.

Big Government

True the Vote Projects Less Than Half of 1.5+ Million Walker Recall Petitions will be Eligible

True the Vote issued a press release yesterday detailing preliminary results of their recall analysis. While the unions will likely get the approximately 540,000 petitions they needed to force a recall vote against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, hundreds of thousands of submitted petitions had problems. Following is the breakdown:

Total Number of Pages Submitted
x 10 records/page (many left blank)
Actual Records
Blank Lines
Unique Records
Incomplete / Indecipherable Records
Sign Date Out of Range
Out of State
Duplicate Signatures
Total Ineligible Signatures 55,608
Total Signatures for Further Investigation* 228,940
Total Eligible Signatures based on data available 534,685
* Signatures that were partially marked through, illegible, possibly false, mismatched or otherwise compromised

The organization responsible for the recall is United Wisconsin, a PAC backed by the usual suspects: the National Education Association’s Wisconsin affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, a “progressive” group named One Wisconsin Now, and the Wisconsin Democrat Party. Well funded, the group used Cloward-Piven swamping tactics to overwhelm the tiny Wisconsin Government Accountability Board – tasked with certifying the recall – with questionable petitions. Not surprisingly, GAB announced they would make only spot checks, claiming they didn’t have the manpower for a full review.

But a full check was in order as many inconsistencies immediately appeared. The number of blank, incomplete, invalid and outright fraudulent petitions makes clear United Wisconsin’s intentions. One Democrat even appears to have entered his brother’s name four separate times. His brother was against the recall. He also signed up his mother, other family members and possibly even neighbors without their assent or knowledge. The entire effort recalls the familiar Democrat battle cry: “Win, even if you have to sell your mother.”

The big news here, however, is the massive, rapid response to assure the legitimacy of this recall, and the groundswell of support it received from all over the country. Partnering with Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty and We the People of the Republic, True the Vote created an online platform for processing and checking the 1.5 + million petitions. A call went out and over 14,000 volunteers from 49 states responded to help input the data. They have so far analyzed over 91 percent of the records in 22 days! The system uses a triple-blind check to assure accuracy. Each petition has been independently reviewed an average of 2.67 times.

Everywhere I go I hear the same question from concerned Americans: “What can we do?” True the Vote has created the perfect answer, a system that allows you to pitch in from the comfort and safety of your own home. There is yet more work to do and they are still looking for volunteers.

Vote fraud is the most important battle we have to face this year. Wikileaks has just revealed that the Democrats engaged in massive fraud in 2008. 2012 will be worse. Now is the time to jump in.

Obama Slashes Soldiers’ Benefits to Pay Back Healthcare Industry Donors

The Tea Party hit its stride in the summer of 2009 when concerned citizens showed up to town halls across the United States to protest the healthcare takeover law being considered in Congress. The people rightly felt that the bill’s labyrinthine and onerous regulations were corrupt and designed to increase the power of the government, line the pockets of shortsighted insurance companies, and squeeze as much blood from the country’s taxpayer turnip as possible.

Just when America believed the US government health scandal couldn’t get worse, President Obama’s handlers go one step further—increasing service members’ and veterans’ medical premiums. This move is designed to push service members and veterans to opt out of Tricare and find a new insurance provider.

President Obama’s new medical proposal seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget and $12.9 billion by 2017, the latter amount adding up to 0.99% of the $1.3 trillion deficit for a single year built into Obama’s proposed budget. To accomplish this spending reduction, service members should expect a 30% to 78% increase in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. In five years, service members will expect an increase ranging from 94% to 345%.

The average annual salary for a four year single enlistee is approximately $34k. If that service member were married with dependents, the salary increases to approximately $42k. Are those numbers enough to make any sane person want to enlist today, knowing they will likely ship off to some foreign land to fight a losing war like that in Afghanistan? Are those numbers enough to justify risking one’s life–enough to afford an increased medical premium that could be raised by 78% just this year or 345% by the time their initial enlistment is over?

Make no mistake; the President is downsizing our military, and this new military medical initiative is one sure way he will see volunteers leave the military knowing their benefits are jeopardized. At a time when Iran threatens the free world, Afghanistan’s violence is on a rise, and North Korea remains unstable, is now the time to play with our service members’ well-being?

President Obama has taken an unprecedented action, crippling the livelihoods of our most worthy federal employees–our troops. And it’s easy to see who’s pushing for this change–the very elements that pushed for Obamacare and the recent contraception scandal, the political donors who represent America’s health industry.

According to multiple open sources, in the 2008 presidential election, the healthcare industry gave big bucks to Obama’s campaign. Health care professionals donated an estimated $11,746,631, while hospitals donated $3,339,099, pharmaceutical companies donated $2,141,826, and HMOs donated $1,440,723. Attorneys specializing in medical malpractice reform, better known as Tort Reform, donated $43,154,642. Those attorneys hedged their bets knowing American health reform would come with a cost, a $54 billion cost over the next 10 years, according to the CBO.

Americans have every right to be appalled at the current economic dilemma today, but more so, they should be truly appalled at the way this President is treating our service members and our veterans. President Obama has sided with the American healthcare industry over our own defenders.

We all have a patriotic duty to protect this nation. One of those obligations is to support our service members past and present. Retired Navy Capt. Kathryn M. Beasley of the Military Officers Association of America, is diligently fighting this newly proposed Obama conundrum. She needs the American people’s assistance to fight this battle.

Our service members should never have to worry about their benefits, but today they do. They selflessly volunteer to place themselves in harm’s way believing in service before self. America must stand up for these warriors and vehemently oppose President Obama and his health industry puppet masters. They have finally crossed the line.

Kerry Patton, a combat service disabled veteran, is a senior analyst for WIKISTRAT and owner of He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security and interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies and the children’s book American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook or at

Big Government

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Exclusive Interview: Infidel Victim of Pennsylvania Sharia Judge Reveals Inside Details of Case

February 28, 2012
By Pamela Geller

This is why anti-sharia legislation is so essential.  What happened to equal protection under the law?

Back in October, I reported on Ernest Perce, a parade-goer wearing a "Zombie Muhammad" costume while marching in a local Pennsylvania Halloween parade.  He was viciously attacked and choked by Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim (who was enforcing the sharia -- he assumed that it was illegal in this country to insult Muhammad).  "He grabbed me, choked me from the back, and spun me around to try to get my sign off that was wrapped around my neck," reported Perce.

Last week, an American judge in Pennsylvania, Judge Mark Martin, ruled on the case and sided with the Muslim, and said that the victim would have been put to death in Muslim societies for his "crime."
Martin told Perce: "Having had the benefit of having spent over two and a half years in predominantly Muslim countries I think I know a little bit about the faith of Islam. ... In many Arabic-speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society."

So what?  This is America, where we don't have to obey the Islamic blasphemy laws -- at least not yet.  But Martin went on to reveal why he was ruling against the victim: "Then what you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I'm a Muslim, I find it offensive."  He now denies that he is a Muslim, but that's what he said.

Ultimately, it is irrelevant if the judge is or isn't a Muslim.  What is germane is his sharia ruling, which is worse if he's not a Muslim.  In Islam, sharia supersedes all man-made laws.  It is the law of Allah, so one might understand (though not condone) a Muslim judge defaulting to sharia.  But an American judge admonishing an infidel victim while holding up the Koran is shocking.  You hear the Koran slam down in the audio of the court proceeding.  Martin also told Perce: "You're way outside your boundaries or First Amendment rights."

Perce had video of the attack, but Judge Martin refused to allow the video into evidence. The judge refused even to look at the video, saying that he had heard enough and that there were two conflicting stories. In sharia, in any conflict between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the Muslim is always right.  Martin ruled for Elbayomy.

It gets worse.  Since his ordeal began, the infidel victim, Ernest Perce, has received 471 verifiable threats.  Perce never released any personal information on Judge Martin or Elbayomy, but they released his, and now he has gotten threats at his home.  He may also soon be spending time in jail because he released audio of the court proceeding.  Martin is threatening to hold Perce in contempt of court for releasing the audio, even though Perce says he was given permission to release it.

Perce released the video because he believes that he was treated unfairly -- that Martin showed Elbayomy preferential treatment.  He wrote to Bonnie Snyder, administrative secretary of the Cumberland County District Court: "I was in a recent proceeding and Judge Martin gave both parties the right/permission to record the proceeding on our cellular devices. I would like to know if it is allowed to put the recording online for listening purposes. If the answer is no, I'd like to know the case law which is being cited and the punishment for violating the case law."

Snyder responded: "Judge Martin only gave permission for the attorney or officer to record the proceedings.  

He did not give anyone else permission to record anything in the courtroom at the hearing held on December 6, 2011 at 2:45 pm."

Perce then asked her: "Are you instructing me via Judge Martin to destroy or delete and not use my audio recording?"

Answered Snyder: "Yes, since you were not authorized to make any recordings."

Are we living in a sharia state?  Aren't court cases open to the public?

Recently I interviewed Ernest Perce and asked him why Judge Martin did not allow the video of the attack to be shown.

Perce: Judge would be offended!  Yet they used comments made on the video at YouTube two months later to establish that I had a biased view toward Talaag Elbayomy.  If the judge were honest, he would have said, "Attorney, the video is not entered as evidence, and therefore I cannot use the comment from two months after the supposed attack." 

I called demanding to speak to the judge.  He was always in a training session or in court.  Finally, on February 16, I talked with the judge at 3:42PM, and he said, "I will hold you in contempt of court under section 42 of the Judicial System" if I didn't take down the audio.  He also threatened to hold me in violation of 112 of the Rules of Court Section D.

He also said that I would be held in contempt of court.  He denies this now, but this is what he told me.  He was furious.

PG: Why did you decide to dress as Zombie Muhammad for Halloween in the first place?

Perce: Mainly to stand for the freedom of speech, and to show my disdain for such a hateful religion and culture.  I have always made fun of Muhammad.

PG: When did you start receiving threats?

Perce: I started receiving death threats immediately after putting the video online of the parade.  People have said that they would kill me, rip my eyes out, run me over, shoot me and laugh at me, since I have blasphemed Muhammad.  They say I will be found out and [hanged] in front of my family.

PG: Did you report these threats?  If so, what response did you receive?

Perce: I have reported several of the threats. 

PG: What is your reaction to the judge's telling you that what you did was offensive to Muslims? 

Perce: When I first heard Attorney Thomas, the defendant's attorney, telling me to read the Koran and the judge stayed silent, I was stunned.  Then when the judge said, " I have a Koran; I challenge you to show me where it says Mohammed [rose] from the dead," I was stunned.  I remember thinking "In America, what does it matter what interpretation a person has about a ruthless book?"  I thought, "I'm not going to challenge you to a debate, and who in the hell are you to require me to read a Koran?"

This is America!  Freedom of speech is our birthright.  This judge trampled on the Constitution.  At that point I forgot I was recording.  Do you think he thinks that being offended justifies harassment?  There is no doubt that he believes that offensive speech warrants harassment.

PG: What do you think of Judge Martin's office denying that he is a Muslim?

Perce: Remember, a Muslim can lie to a nonbeliever, a kaffir.  He spoke Arabic to the defendant and his friend.  They answered back.  If he claims he isn't a Muslim, then why does he have a Koran?  Why did he challenge me to a debate on the interpretation of the Koran?  Why get mad at me and insult me?  Why then go on a six-minute rant against me?  Why value Islam above Christianity?  He said, "They pray five times a day, towards Mecca.  To be a good Muslim before you die, you have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca."  

Christians pray all the time, Jews pray all the time, Buddhists follow the basics of karma.  Humanists will do no harm to anyone.

There is so much wrong with his preference for Islam.  I've never met a Christian who got offended at a person dressing as Muhammad or wanted to debate them, or who told another person, "As-Salamu Alaykum."

His staff can say what they want, but there are only three possibilities: he just got saved, or if he has nothing to hide, why threaten me with contempt and order me to destroy the audio?  Or third, he's a Muslim who is backpedaling because he got offended and had a slip of anger, and he knew he couldn't physically attack me!

PG: What do you plan to do now?

Perce: I am going to organize a protest against Judge Martin.  I'm going to buy a billboard featuring Martin's photo, saying, "You're outside your bounds of the First Amendment!  I'm Mark Martin, I am a Muslim and I'm offended."  Victims are not the antagonists.  Women do not deserve to be raped because of how they dress.  A woman who has been abused doesn't warrant further abuse.  I'm angry that an official of a court would say this. 

PG: Is there any possibility you could try to press any further criminal or civil charges against the attacker?

Perce: I am not able to file criminal charges against the attacker because of double jeopardy.  I am considering a $50 civil suit or asking for a public apology.  Martin's decision effectively says that Muslims do not have to learn to accept blasphemy against their religion without violence.  Yet when you are a citizen of the USA, you accept our Constitution.  Free speech is our foundation.

PG: What do you want people to know? 

Perce: I will say to Muslims: "I will not allow you put fear in my mind or [the minds] of those whom I know!  I will not be silent.  I am an American atheist, and I am not afraid to deal with you openly.  While so many others draw Muhammad in private, I am Muhammad in open public!

PG: Are you worried about being attacked or getting death threats?

Perce: I'm more worried that if I stay silent, the energy and emotion within me will be worse to me than being attacked, or even death threats or death itself!  So do your worst, and I will do mine!  Only my worst is standing up against Islam!

PG: Has the media expressed interest in this story? 

Perce: The media has expressed little or no interest.  I hope they do, because this judge needs to be out of office.

This is why we must have anti-sharia legislation in America.  Equal protection under the law.  There is no equal protection or justice for non-Muslims under the sharia.  Nor was there for Ernest Perce in Mark Martin's sharia court.

Pamela Geller is the publisher of and the author of the WND Books title Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.

American Thinker

Some Leftists Were For the Free Market Before They Were Against It

We can almost always count on the Left’s knee-jerk, snap objection to almost anything that takes place in the free market.

Almost anytime any two or more private individuals or the companies they represent reach a mutually acceptable agreement – or when it comes to virtually any opportunity to engage in unfettered free market practices – you can invariably count on a Leftist gaggle rushing to decry, despoil and oppose.

Let us look at but a couple of recent examples.

The Leftists opposed the AT&T-T-Mobile merger.  And the Barack Obama Administration-Eric Holder Justice Department sued to block it.  After enduring a year-plus beating, AT&T withdrew its application.  The free market agreement was blocked by the anti-free market forces.

The Leftists opposed the Comcast-NBCU merger.  And the Obama Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved it only after jamming it with pages and pages of anti-free market and illegal mandates – including seven years of conscripted Network Neutrality – that the Commission had (and has) zero authority to impose.

The Leftists just recently opposed an unfettered free market auction of spectrum – the airwaves we need for everything wireless.  They wanted to again have the Obama FCC gum it up with all sorts of Big Government, unlawful diktats.  Thankfully, the Congressional law creating the auction parameters largely proscribed the Commission from so doing (though the possibility for Net Neutrality imposition still exists).

You will note that the best opportunities the Left has to damage via the government the free market is in the Internet and Communications sector.  For it is this free market sector over which the government most loomingly lords.

The government holds far less power to block or impede a Wal-Mart-K-Mart merger than they do an AT&T-T-Mobile merger.  A dichotomy that must be resolved – to bring the Internet and Communications sector into more-free market line with the rest of the private sector.

Which brings us to Verizon’s pending $3.6 billion spectrum purchase.
This is simply a free market transaction between a willing seller and a willing buyer.

Verizon is looking to purchase said spectrum from SpectrumCo – a cable consortium consisting of Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Bright House Networks.  And is so doing because they – and every other cellular service provider – face a huge looming lack-of-spectrum problem.  For at least a few reasons.

One, because people are on their phones watching more and more videos.

Two, because more people have more phones – on which they are placing more calls, engaging more applications and watching more and more videos.

And three, because Obama’s FCC has been tilting at Leftist ideological windmills – like wasting almost two years illegally jamming through Net Neutrality  - rather than identifying and making available more spectrum.

The government, again, has way too much ability to block or jam up the Verizon-SpectrumCo deal.  And many on the Left are calling for exactly that.

Media Marxist outfit Public Knowledge recently sent out an email:

In which they excoriate – and declare their outright opposition to – the deal.

One sentence – in multiple directions – sums up their utter disconnect from Reality and the wireless Xanadu we are all enjoying.

Essentially, Verizon and AT&T get wireless; cable gets wireline; and consumers get nothing.

A dreaded wireless duopoly?  Hardly.

Public Knowledge seems to have forgotten Sprint.  Whom they certainly remembered when they cashed Sprint’s checks while forming an anti-free market unholy alliance to block the AT&T-T-Mobile merger.

Public Knowledge also seems to have forgotten T-Mobile.  And Boost.  And TracFone.  And MetroPCS.  And U.S. Cellular.  And CricketAnd….

Only via Leftist “new math” is this a duopoly.
“…and consumers get nothing.”

Only the Delusional Left can describe the meteoric, explosion-in-all-directions cellular phone market – which has revolutionized for the better lives all over the planet – as people getting “nothing.”
And you know who agrees that this Verizon spectrum deal is a good one?  Why, it’s Public Knowledge’s own Legal Director Harold Feld.  Who seemed at the time to be speaking for his entire organization:

Public Knowledge, which is typically very skeptical of any transaction that decreases competition in any market, focused in this case on the benefits of freeing spectrum that the cable operators have “warehoused” since 2006 without any real plan to deploy a network.

It is good news that Verizon is paying $3.6 billion to buy useful spectrum from the cable company consortium,” Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge said in a statement. Spectrum is better held in the hands of those who will use it, as opposed to those who don’t.”

That was the free market then – this is the Big Government now.  What happened?

Nothing about the deal has changed – except Public Knowledge’s position on it.

Did another set of targeted checks clear?

Like with the Tootsie Pop lick count – the world may never know.

Big Government

Obama to Force Military Into ObamaCare Exchanges and Slash Healthcare Benefits

The Obama Administration plans to force active duty service members and veterans off the military’s current health care plan, Tricare, and into ObamaCare’s state-run healthcare exchanges by increasing Tricare premiums between 30 percent to 78 percent the first year and a crushing 94 percent to 345 percent every five years thereafter.

Obama’s plan, which is sparking a major controversy within the Pentagon, is set to go into effect after the 2012 presidential election and will not apply to unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz reports that, “According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048,” thereby all but guaranteeing service members and vets will be forced to enter ObamaCare.

Sources close to the controversy fear the radical healthcare restructuring will significantly hurt military recruitment:
“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”
The 2.1 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are vowing to fight the Obama Administration’s proposed healthcare scheme:

“A secure America needs a strong military,” he said, “and whether one serves honorably for four years or 40, messing with military pay and benefits is a clear signal to the troops and their families that the budget is more important than people. That is going to seriously hurt recruiting and retention, and potentially end the all-volunteer force, because nobody wants to work for an ungrateful employer in a vocation as inherently dangerous as ours.”
The move by the Obama Administration comes on the heels of announcing it plans to gut $487 billion in Pentagon spending.

By squeezing service members and veterans out of Tricare and into ObamaCare through significantly higher Tricare premiums, the Obama Administration believes it can pinch $1.8 billion from Tricare in fiscal 2013 and $12.9 billion by 2017.

By comparison, Mr. Obama spent $20.5 billion on his Department of Energy green energy grants and loans program, 80 percent of which went to companies owned or tied to Mr. Obama’s top fundraisers.

Congressional hearings on the ObamaCare military restructuring begin next month.

Big Government

Representatives Walsh, Gosar, Labrador Discuss Media Bias In Fast and Furious

When I was in DC for CPAC I had the pleasure to meet and interview Representative Joe Walsh and Representative Paul Gosar. I did a phone interview with Representative Raul Labrador on February 16th. I wanted to ask them for their thoughts on the media ignoring Operation Fast & Furious and anything else pertaining to the operation.

Rest In Peace Brian Terry. We Won't Forget.

I was eager to meet Rep. Walsh being that I’m also from the Chicago area and find it interesting that a tea party conservative Republican from the Chicago area was elected to Congress. Rep Walsh has been the most outspoken about the media ignoring anything about Fast and Furious. During our discussion he said for the media it isn’t about protecting Attorney General Eric Holder or Operation Fast & Furious; to them it’s all about protecting President Obama.

“The media is beyond in love with President Obama to the point it’s a fatal attraction,” he said. They worked so hard to get him elected they have to make sure there are no blemishes on his administration whether he is connected to the scandal or not. Walsh was not shocked when I told him the media has not been name-checking Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. He agreed with me that to name him would humanize the event and he added it would make the story more compelling. He was very happy to hear that the media is starting to mention Brian Terry by name, including an entire story dedicated to his life at CNN.

“All of this forces us to be more outspoken,” Rep Walsh told me. He encourages all of us to keep Fast & Furious in the news. Everything must be reported no matter how big or small. He pushed for me to scrutinize the media over everything because you know if this was a GOP administration the media would be all over it.

He also gave major props to Matthew Boyle at The Daily Caller, Katie Pavlich at Townhall, Cam Edwards of NRA News, and, of course, Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News.

I asked him what it will take for the entire media to take this seriously. “Real iron clad evidence,” he said. “Cover up behavior.”

Later that same day I interviewed Representative Paul Gosar from Arizona. He represents the 1st district of Arizona, which has been affected by Operation Fast and Furious. It doesn’t surprise me that he’s very passionate about this investigation and very willing to talk about everything. Simply put, he is disgusted by Mr. Holder’s attitude. He thinks Holder’s arrogance has capability to bring down the administration. He described the bias as severe mainly because we haven’t heard anything from the Hispanic caucus. One would think the Hispanic caucus would be infuriated that we helped arm already-dangerous drug cartels which led to the death of 300+ Mexicans. Why have they remained silent?

When I asked about the spin from reporters like Charlie Savage at The New York Times (who habitually make Holder the victim), Rep. Gosar’s press secretary told him about the incident she had with him. I wrote about that here.

Here’s another interesting fact: The DOJ has really only handed over around 1,000 pages. Rep Gosar showed me a few examples and it’s true: A lot of the documents/emails they send over are duplicates. There’s a huge difference between 6,000 and 1,000.

Representative Raul Labrador had similar thoughts to Rep Walsh & Rep Gosar. He described their actions perfectly: journalistic malpractice. This is exactly what they’re doing. Saving President Obama is more important than doing their job. They aren’t protecting Mr. Holder or the DOJ. They’re protecting President Obama. They can’t allow President Obama to have any stains on his presidency. But he said we need to keep talking about it. We need to keep writing and publishing every little tidbit we receive. American citizens, once completely in the dark about this program, are now infuriated by it.

Another example of media’s malpractice is the way they keep bringing up operations under President Bush. Rep. Labrador talked about how Wide Receiver and Fast & Furious are completely different. The guns in Wide Receiver had a tracking device in them and our government was working closely with the Mexican government. It also helped that they had people on the other side of the border to arrest the buyers — in essence, the program tracked every variable. Fast and Furious did not track the firearms nor did our government continue close work with that of Mexico’s. If you thought the program was bad under Bush you by default admit that it is exponentially worse — and infinitely deadlier — under Obama.

Another example of media malpractice is the way they in which went after Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. “The media was relentless,” said Rep. Labrador. I couldn’t agree more.

I hope to interview more about Operation Fast & Furious. We will continue our coverage and call out the media for not reporting full details. We will not give up until up and Brian Terry receives justice and his family has closure.

Big Journalism

Monday, February 27, 2012

‘Act of Valor’: The Movie Traditional Hollywood Can’t – and Won’t – Make

MEMO TO HOLLYWOOD: We have seen the future, and you aren’t in it.

As “Act of Valor” hauls in a tidy $24.5 million to lead the box office pack this weekend, Hollywood has got to be wondering why it’s bloated $100 million epics are tanking while this low-budget, independently-made fireball will make its producers a bundle.

Let me clue you in, Tinseltown – “Act” is an unapologetically pro-military movie that doesn’t have to pretend that the greatest threat to America is space aliens. It’s got action – holy cow, does it have action. It’s got emotion – real emotion, not that hacky “emotional conflict” cookie cutter crap that your screenwriting seminars push. And it’s got this thing called “moral clarity.”

Since that’s an unfamiliar concept, I’ll give you a chance to Google it.

Yeah, Hollywood, moral clarity.  The bad guys are bad guys. As in the real world outside of the I-10/I-5/101 Freeway/Pacific Ocean box where you live your miserable, morally bankrupt lives, there’s no ambiguity.

American warriors are the unambiguous heroes, and the people they hunt down are unambiguously evil.

There’s no bogus back story to the villains about how Americans were mean to them, or how their daddies didn’t hug them enough, or how global warming destroyed their petting zoo.

“Act of Valor” rejects the kind of value-free nonsense you love to inject into your crummy, unwatched flops to generate the cozy moral ambiguity that allows you to pretend that there is no such thing as right and wrong.

Over-hyped, over-praised and just plain over productions like “Homeland” (and, in later years, “24″), I’m talking about you.

The jihadi/drug dealing villains in “Act” murder little kids with car bombs. They use power drills to torture women. They want to butcher Americans here in our country.  Just like in real life.
Except – and this is key – “Act of Valor” isn’t afraid to say so. You are. Evil corporations, neo-Nazis, little green men – you’ll have anyone as the villain except the real villians who we are really at war against today.

But the American people see through it. They know who the real enemy is. And, moreover, they love our military and our troops, while you don’t know, don’t understand and, frankly, don’t respect our troops. The pile of smoldering carcasses of unwatched anti-military turkeys like “Redacted,” “Lions for Lambs,” and “In the Valley of Elah” ought to be a signal that dissing our men and women in uniform is a one-way ticket on the express train to Failureville.

And that train is roaring down the tracks. Your audience is disappearing. The profit paradigm is shifting from the inflated extravaganzas you keep pushing on us toward sleek, lean entertainment that actually entertains. “Act” cost just $12 million to make – $12 million! That’s not even enough to cover Tom Cruise’s masseuse budget.

But Hollywood, it’s pretty clear that the only thing that means more to you than money is making sure that your buddies know that you’re towing the liberal line. After all, what’s making a few more bucks when it means you won’t get invited to the right $36,000 a plate liberal fundraiser where you can sip $800 a bottle champagne with your liberal pals while nodding your heads as whichever Democrat politician you’re paying off to support SOPA talks about how important it is to show solidarity with “the poor.”

You better start taking notes.

We’ve already covered “not alienating your audience by insulting their country,” “understand who the bad guys are” and “make it exciting instead of a coma-inducing snoozefest.”  Now let’s take a look at some of the other lessons from “Act of Valor,” shall we?

First, there’s this thing in cinema called “direction” – you might want to steer your movies back towards having some of it.

People are getting a little tired of action scenes that are so frenetic and disjointed that you walk out of the theater feeling like a hyperactive epileptic on meth.  One idea would be to invest in tripods. Or, one could do what “Act” does and use the “shaky cam” style as a tool to maximize excitement rather than a crutch to hide incoherence.  The action scenes are incredible – I especially liked the M4-mounted camera point-of-view shots.

Also, if you don’t depict American troops as savages you might get some cooperation from the Department of Defense. “Act” has unbelievable scenes that can only come with the DoD’s help, unless your budget includes the dough to buy a nuclear sub to surface for you (That scene is just awesome). Real stuff and real stories beats CGI and anti-military slander.

Now, you probably have some gripes about ‘Act,” so let’s just pretend this is a dialogue instead of a monologue and assume that I asked for your opinion.

First, you’ll probably complain that “Act of Valor” is just a two-hour recruiting film!” Your premise is flawed at the outset.  You assume that there is somehow something wrong with encouraging Americans to enter the military and serve their country. There isn’t. You are losers for not doing more of it.

The young men and women of the American armed forces are heroes, and members of the organization that has done more to promote peace, freedom, and alleviate human misery than any other institution in human history. Decent people would be proud to produce a film that depicts the essential truths of our military and supports young Americans trying to see if they are worthy of becoming a part of it.

Second, you may claim that the acting is sub-par. Well, these are freaking Navy SEALs. They’re perfectly adequate. After all, how can we expect them to rise to the level of thespian skill displayed by the acting legends you Hollywood geniuses foist upon us, such as Channing Tatum, Taylor Lautner and Megan Fox?

Of course, if some lefty French art film director took a bunch of untrained actors and made a film about how capitalism crushes souls or some such nonsense, you’d be giddy with praise for the performers’ “naturalism” and “raw talent,” and it would be a smash hit in San Francisco, Manhattan and Portland.

Third, “it’s emotionally manipulative.”  Hey, jerks, it’s real.  You’ve never had to be gone on deployment while your wife was pregnant.  I have – and so have many thousands of other Americans.  You’ve never been to a military funeral for someone who died during operations.  I have – and so have many thousands of other Americans.

The most emotional moment of any movie this year has already happened – the moment at the end of “Act” where the filmmakers dedicate the film to those who have lost their lives defending freedom and a terribly, gut-wrenchingly long list of the names of the Naval Special Warfare dead since 9/11 rolls across the screen.

The credits then show a series of photos not only of SEALs but of members of all of the American military branches, along with first responders like our police and firefighters.

Too sentimental for you, Hollywood? Too cliché? Too unhip? Maybe it’s just too real for you.

This is their reality: Lieutenant Michael Murphy, Medal of Honor.  Petty Officer Michael A. Mansoor, Medal of Honor.

This is your reality:  Hollywood is dying.

Big Hollywood

Here Comes Obama's 3 AM Phone Call

February 27, 2012
By James Lewis

In the next 60 days Obama's presidential career will finally meet that concrete wall of reality.  He will either fail or survive.  Trouble is, he might take many innocent people with him if he fails.

So far, the most hyped-up and unqualified president in US history has shown no capacity at all to act, in the face of a do-or-die challenge.  This is the ultimate test of character, the one that John F. Kennedy met well enough in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.  This is the test that Jimmy Carter failed so miserably that Ronald Reagan beat him handily in the following election.  This is the same test of reality that every single Democratic Administration has tried to avoid; it's the reason why Bill Clinton refused to do anything about Osama Bin Laden when he had four separate chances to take him out.

This time, abject apologies to ranting Pakistani mobs will not make a smidgen of difference.  Even Axelrod's disinformation campaigns can't save Obama now, because that 3 am phone call is almost sure to come by April Fool's Day of 2012, when the real fool will stand revealed to the world.

On or about April 1 of 2012, that 3 AM phone call will reach the White House. We know what it will be -- which is itself a sign of stunning incompetence in this White House.  None of this information should ever be public.  Ever.

But this administration has chosen its Secretary of Defense to publicly leak the most closely guarded secret of 

Israel's back-against-the-wall defense against Iranian nuclear weapons.
Such public leaks amount to near treason in time of war.  Imagine if someone leaked General Eisenhower's plans for the D-Day invasion in June of 1944.  FDR would have fired them instantly, or if they were foreigners he would have felt justified to have them killed.  Hundreds of thousands of American and Allied lives were at stake on D Day.  In Israel today, hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives are at stake.  Don't expect countries fighting for their national survival to act any differently.

The Israelis have now publicly retaliated against the Panetta leak.  They have accused General Dempsey, our top general, of publicly taking the Iranian side in the confrontation. But General Dempsey is not the target. The General knows better.  The real target is his boss in the White House.

This is the moment every sane person knew had to come, ever since Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski knowingly allowed the radical suicide regime of Ayatollah Khomeini to overthrow the modernizing Shah of Iran.  That was the single most self-destructive decision by any American President in modern history.  
Jimmy Carter empowered the first Islamic throwback regime since Kemal Ataturk modernized Turkey in the 1920s.

Since Khomeini, Islamic radicalization has only accelerated, culminating in the 9/11/01 attack on New York City. Obama's equally suicidal "Arab Spring" has now brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt, instead of our long-time ally Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak's predecessor Anwar Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood, and Obama knowingly chose to support Sadat's assassins.

So much for America's loyalty and word of honor.

Now Egypt is in economic and political despair, along with the other "Arab Spring" countries. The Saudis are ordering their own nuclear weapons, because they cannot trust the United States to protect their vital interests any more.

Obama thrives on crisis and chaos.  He is a gambler and a con artist who follows Napoleon's slogan of "audacity, audacity, always audacity."  But Napoleon met his Moscow winter and his Waterloo.  The only question is when Obama will crash into his own brick wall of reality. 

April Fool's Day would be a very suitable target date for the coming Iranian nuclear crisis.  The Administration has already started to undermine Israel's case for defending itself by claiming, dontchaknow, that the Iranians are not making nukes after all. They are just making highly enriched uranium, folks. Nothing to worry about.  False alarms, all you fools!  It's just that Zionist plot again.

Obama's string puppets at J Street and other Soros fronts are bound to start anti-Israel propaganda again, aided by the New York Times and its ilk. But the Iranians just said (again!) that they are bound and determined to "wipe Israel off the map."

It will make no difference. The Israelis are sensitive to hate propaganda by the international left, except when survival is at stake.  Then they act to survive.  That used to be US policy as well, until the fantasy-ridden Democrats took over the country.  Today Obama is cutting our defense budget and reducing US nuclear weapons to the lowest level ever, even while nuclear proliferation breaks out all over the world. Good timing, BHO.

The conventional wisdom is that Israel must attack Iranian nuclear sites soon, because Ahmadinejad is moving his nuclear industry into deep mountain tunnels on an emergency basis.  Once his nuke industry is deeply bunkered it is essentially invulnerable to conventional weapons. It is the point of no return.

The conventional wisdom also claims that Israel cannot maintain a long-term bombing campaign.  Only the United States can do that.  But the US is refusing to be the cop on the block, leaving the defense of the world's biggest oil supply to ... nobody.  No one else has the power to do it.  Which is why the Saudis are nuking up.

Israel will act as in defense of its right to live.  The left will predictably turn reality upside-down, the way it always does.  They keep their brains in the darkest place they can find.  Nothing will change those facts.

The United States is the only nation with the power to knock down the Iranian threat with reasonable safety to itself and other countries.  We have done it before.  If Israel acts without our active help, the risks of great casualties on all sides will be much, much greater.  In 1973 Golda Meir came close to using Israel's own nuclear arsenal when invading tank divisions from Egypt threatened to overrun Israel's cities.  That decision was barely averted when Israeli tanks broke through the Egyptian lines.

Obama is by far the most mentally fixated president in the nuclear age.  Nobody else has come even close to having his mental blinders, not even Jimmy Carter.  Obama has little regard for human life, which is why he whipped up regional chaos in the "Arab Spring," by demanding the resignation of Egypt's Hosni Mubarak.  Obama is happy to empower radical Islamist regimes, just like Jimmy Carter.  With a solid phalanx of media liars, Obama has been able to evade responsibility for three years of solid misgovernment in foreign and domestic affairs.

But the coming crisis cannot be evaded. Obama and his propaganda media will spin and spin -- before, during, and after the coming crisis between Israel and Iran. Obama wanted above all to force Israel to retreat back to 1948 or face a nuclear Iran.  It was a choice between slow genocide and fast genocide.

It looks like Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, the left and the right of Israel's parliament, called Obama's bluff. No American president has ever allowed an international crisis to come so close to the brink.  Obama has now allowed the Middle East to deteriorate so far that he has lost control. He now owns whatever is going to happen. His fingerprints are all over it.

Around April 1, the biggest fool of the 21st century will stand revealed to the world.

After that, the American people will have to decide.

American Thinker

Stimulus ‘Success Story’ Lays Off 125 Workers and Posts $172 Million in Losses

The latest taxpayer-funded clean energy debacle–A123 Systems, an electric car battery company–” has laid off 125 employees and had a net loss of $172 million through the first three quarters of 2011,” reports the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

In a September 2010 Huffington Post piece, then-Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm hailed A123 Systems as a stimulus “success story” and defended the $390.1 million in federal and state subsidies this way:
You can see the pride in the faces of A123’s workers and hear it in their voices. They know they’re helping shape our nation’s clean energy future, and leading Michigan’s economic recovery. Half of the new hires at A123’s Livonia facility were previously unemployed.  This is a powerful demonstration of the job-creating potential of clean energy.
A123 Systems’ new Livonia facility is a Recovery Act success story.

What a difference a year makes.

Now, the clean energy battery maker that received $390.1 million in federal and state subsidies has slashed jobs and posted massive losses.

But that hasn’t stopped A123 Systems’s top brass from giving themselves raises:
This month A123’s Compensation Committee approved a $30,000 raise for [David] Prystash just days after Fisker Automotive announced the U.S. Energy Department had cut off what was left of its $528.7 million loan it had previously received.Prystash wasn’t the only executive to see a big raise this month. Robert Johnson, vice president of the energy solutions group, got a 20.7 percent pay increase going from $331,250 to $400,000, while Jason Forcier, vice president of the automotive solutions group, saw his pay increase from $331,250 to $350,000. Prystash’s raise was 8.5 percent, going from $350,000 to $380,000.
The raises were reported by the company in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The pay hikes are also raising eyebrows.  Paul Chesser, an associate fellow for the National Legal & Policy Center, said, “It looks highly suspicious.  It looks like they are trying to pad their top people’s wallets in case something really bad happens.”

No word yet from former Governor Jennifer Granholm on whether she still considers A123 Systems a stimulus “success story.”

Big Government

Is the IRS Attempting to Intimidate Local Tea Parties?

In January and February of this year, the Internal Revenue Service began sending out letters to various local Tea Parties across the country. Mailed from the same Cincinnati, Ohio IRS office, these letters have reached Tea Parties in Virginia, Hawaii, Ohio, and Texas (we are hearing of more daily). There are several common threads to these letters: all are requesting more information from these independent Tea Parties in regard to their nonprofit 501(c)(4) applications (for this type of nonprofit, donations are not deductible). While some of the requests are reasonable, much of them are strikingly onerous and, dare I say, Orwellian in nature.

What are local Tea Partiers to think with requests like “Please identify your volunteers” or “are there board members or officers who have run or will run for office (including relatives)”? What possible reason would the IRS have for Tea Parties to “name your donors” when said donations are non-deductible? These are just a few of the questions asked by the IRS in these letters, and one cannot help but suspect an intrinsic threat encompassing all these demands.

The other question is the timing of these IRS letters requesting reams of copies and hundreds of hours of work and potentially thousands of dollars in accounting/legal fees (all due in two weeks). Some of these Tea Party groups have not received anything concerning their nonprofit status since 2010 prior to these letters.

These documents are further undermined by a letter sent to the IRS Commissioner Shulman. Signed by six Senators, it requests that the commissioner investigate 501(c)(4) groups to determine whether they are engaging in substantial campaign activity, including opposition to any candidate. Who signed this letter? Senators Schumer, Franken, Udall, Shaheen, Whitehouse, Merkley and Bennet — all Democrats.

Could it be that these Senators want the IRS to investigate the nonprofit status of Media Matters and its coordinated political activity with the White House? Or perhaps they are concerned with nonprofit ACORN groups’ record of voter fraud, and other previous campaign abuses including alleged close ties with President Obama’s Project Vote?  No, when these Senators sent this letter to the IRS commissioner, the message would be very clear. The 501(c)(4) groups they want investigated are not those with Democratic liberal ties.

But why would a department like the IRS cave to Democrat demands? Could it be because this Democratic administration proposed a budget earlier this month that would result in “$1.1 billion in new funds for the Internal Revenue Service… that would translate to 5,112 new hires, or a 5 percent expansion of enforcement operations”? Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, couldn’t contain her glee at the prospect of over 5,000 new union hires, exclaiming in response to the announcement that “the administration’s 2012 funding level for the IRS would permit the agency to improve services through increasing response rates to inquiries, deploying enforcement resources to what the White House called high-return integrity activities and by modernizing information technology systems.”

The IRS is already focusing on “deploying enforcement resources,” as Kelley put it, toward targeting small, local Tea Parties; we’re sorry to report that these “high-return integrity activities” are generating a higher fear factor, not necessarily higher returns.

In the near future, the Affordable Healthcare Act mandate and all things related to healthcare are to be policed and enforced by the IRS.  This means thousands more IRS agents will be added, but the actual number is yet unknown. Considering that healthcare accounts for 1/6th of the U.S. economy, it will probably be a significant number of additional agents.  According to the tax administration inspector general, Russell George, “The new Affordable Care Act provisions represents the largest set of tax law changes in 20 years.” That’s an overwhelming thought considering there are over 70,000 pages of federal tax code.

The Tea Party movement is well known for wanting to shrink the size of government and decrease government spending because of the ballooning deficit.  This means that unionized government employees that may be out of a job if the Tea Party is successful also have the power to choose whether or not Tea Party groups get nonprofit status.  And those same employees are also requesting names and information of board members, volunteers, donors, invited speakers(and party affiliation) and just about anyone that has had any association with the Tea Party.

It is apparent that there is a potential conflict of interest and it could be used to stifle the right to free speech of the Tea Party members, or any other citizen willing to question the system and powers that be.

Many Tea Party boards are afraid to speak out publicly about these intrusive requests because of fear of being personally targeted and singled out by the IRS. This is especially scary to citizens of modest incomes that don’t have the financial means to hire accountants or tax attorneys.  And that is probably the point.  Cower and fade away, or face possible persecution at the hands of government bureaucrats.

Some people may read this article about this possibly-coordinated effort against Tea Parties and be glad. But, the tables can easily be turned if and when another party takes control.  The potential of using the IRS as a weapon against those that disagree with the people in power is exactly why the Tea Party fears the growth of government.

If your Tea Party has received similar letters, please let me know (Colleen Owens, and I will put you in contact with other Tea Parties that have also received them.  I will not publish your Tea Party or names publicly.

Remember the words of Ben Franklin, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Big Government