The Silence of Libertarians & the ACLU is Deafening

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Here is what we know as facts now and it should worry every American. A political party, the Democrat National Committee, and a Presidential candidate’s (Hillary Clinton) campaign paid a company Fusion GPS to put together a file of documents (referred to as a dossier) to be used to defeat the opposing Presidential candidate (Donald Trump). It has come to light that the Clinton campaign feed false information to Fusion which became part of the dossier. And we have learned that Christopher Steele, the person at Fusion GPS who put together the false dossier, leaked info to Yahoo news who reported it.

 Fusion initially tried to leak the details of the dossier to the media to harm the Trump campaign. Only a couple of outlets bit on the information. Even the main stream media, who were working had to take Trump out, passed on the information because they knew it was bogus. The dossier was later used by the Obama administration to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. The yahoo story was used to corroborate the dossier. So, the dossier was corroborated by the author.

 FISA warrants require renewals every ninety days. Then-FBI-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications on behalf of the FBI, and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Signing on behalf of the DOJ were the Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the Department of Justice.

 In December 2017, then FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe testified under oath that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” from the FISA court “without the Steele dossier information.” So in another words the warrants were obtained under false pretenses.

This is chilling. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, signed into law in 1978, requires the government, when eavesdropping on communications on domestic soil for national security purposes, to obtain permission from a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The judge must agree that the target is probably an agent of a foreign power and will probably use the specific email accounts or phone numbers that the Justice Department wants to wiretap. The Patriot Act amended FISA and greatly expanded the scope of surveillance allowed under US law. Foreign intelligence information could now be gathered from both Americans and foreigners. Government agencies no longer needed to prove that a target is an agent of a foreign power. The maximum duration of surveillance and investigations were lengthened.

 Americans were generally ok with these processes because of the threat of terrorism. However, the risk of abuse is high and Libertarians and the ACLU opposed this because of this risk of abuse. Here and now we have experienced the abuse that many feared might happen. A sitting President knowingly used false information which was paid for by his Party to obtain warrants to spy on the opposing Party’s candidate. This is much more serious of a scandal than Watergate yet the media has suppressed this from half of America. This is expected. And the ACLU’s silence is expected as well. But why are the Libertarians silent?

 

The Other Well Kept Secret

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After all of the women came out and told their stories of sexual harassment and abuse by Harvey Weinstein the floodgates have opened. Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer are the latest big names to fall. One common theme of most of these stories was that it was a well-kept secret, “everyone knew”.

I believe there is an analogy today to young black school children. In many communities these kids are mocked and made fun of if they try to succeed. They are called traitors, Uncle Toms and worse. And I believe this is widely known by the schools, politicians, black leaders and professional athletes.

Black leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton know this but their livelihood depends on the misery of blacks. Democrat politicians also count on the blacks being downtrodden. This gives them an issue to campaign on and has been a great vote getting strategy for them.

The black dropout rate, high number of single mother black families and black on black violence, high unemployment and poverty rate are all connected. But it starts with family upbringing and education.

The NFL has been damaged by the protests of a small number of players, players who really cannot articulate what they are protesting. They talk about social justice which is a term without meaning. The NFL proposed throwing money at the issue by donating to social causes. This has further divided the players and the NFL.  When you cannot really identify the problem then identifying the solutions is impossible.

If the players and the NFL really want to make a positive impact on their communities they should create a large public awareness effort to encourage kids to stay in school and fathers to stay with their families. Like it or not players are role models. Maybe the school kids would listen. Imagine if the NFL, NBA and MBL partnered to do this together.

Let’s Remember and Celebrate our Independence Day.

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The history of our founding has not been properly taught in schools for decades. Independence Day is routinely called the 4th of July holiday, a day for cook outs, not remembrance.

It is up to us to make sure our children understand how and why our country was formed. One way is to read to them this our Declaration Of Independence.

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IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire:

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:

John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:

Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:

Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:

William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:

Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:

Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:

Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:

Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:

George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:

William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:

Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:

Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

The Shadow Party

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The Democrat Party has abandoned religion and morality, the Constitution, the white male middle class and now the flag. Patriotism is a threat to their success and must be squashed. They cannot get their agenda passed legitimately so they must rely on left wing judges to “pass” their agenda. They cannot accept the fact that they experienced an overwhelming electoral defeat in the last election. So rather than figure out why voters rejected their message they concocted the Russian hacking myth to explain the loss.

There is no way half of Americans would vote for a party that despises religion (except for Islam), has no moral compass but rather sees the world through relative morality lenses, has no respect for the military, the rule of law or the police, rejects patriotism and the flag in favor on the new world order and prefers Iran and terrorists like HAMAS rather than our true ally Israel. They mask their real intentions with lofty well-meaning names like “right to choose” or “equal pay”. They must hide their real intentions in the shadows in order to get elected. This is only possible for two reasons. First, the main stream media (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and most newspapers) protects them and misleads Americans about their true agenda. Secondly the left has longed controlled the education system from beginning to end. They eliminated history long ago and indoctrinate students with their left wing agenda items like global warming and gun control.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center wrote a brilliant piece called “The Civil War is Here” in frontpage.com. You can read it here.

Is Social Security a Good Deal?

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Each year at about this time you can receive an updated social security benefits statement from the Social Security Administration (https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/). This document will tell you what you can expect to receive on a monthly basis when you retire.

We currently pay 6.2% of our wages towards our retirement (social security). Our employer matches that amount so together 12.4% of our wages are “set aside” for our retirement. Well here is the rub. Even though politicians constantly refer to the “Social Security Trust Fund”, there is no such thing. The trust fund is basically a promise to pay us something in the future.

It is helpful to look at this like a 401K plan. A 401K plan is a form of retirement whereby employees set aside a certain percentage of their earnings for retirement. This set aside is invested in a personal account that you own. Typically the investment choices are high quality mutual funds or ETFs (Exchanged Traded Funds). Many employers will match some or all of the employee deduction. Over a lifetime of employment this can add up to a nice retirement nest egg.

In essence social security is doing the same thing with some very important differences. First, the money that you pay in taxes and the amounts that your employer pays does not belong to you. If you would work for 40 years and die before becoming eligible for benefits, the money is lost; your surviving family has no rights to the money even though you paid into it for 40 years. The same goes if you collect a benefit for a couple of years then die, there is no surviving benefit for your family. Second, your money is not invested and does not grow. In addition, there is a maximum benefit amount that is capped by the social security administration regardless of the amount of taxes that you pay.

There have been efforts by Republicans to privatize social security. This would mean that you would own the money just as you do your 401K. You would decide how to invest it. And you would determine who your beneficiary is if you die. Under Social Security the government is everyone’s beneficiary. When social security was put in place in 1935 the retirement age was 65. The expected life expectancy at that time was 62 years for women and 58 years for men. This should be very telling.

There is always a big fight over privatization when it is proposed. The Democrats argue that individuals lack the ability to choose investments and would be at risk of losing their entire benefit. They say the stock market is too risky. They also argue that there would no longer be a guaranteed benefit (a legacy union concept). In reality the reason these politicians fight to keep it is one to preserve big government, but also since inception the taxes collect have far exceeded the benefits paid. This has created a slush fund to help balance the budget and provide money to spend on other projects. The problem with this is that the pendulum is about to swing the other way. When the baby boomers begin to retire in great numbers benefit payments will far outweigh taxes collected. And since the surpluses were spent rather than put in a lockbox or trust fund as you are told there will be major shortfalls which will have to be funded. From 2000 thru 2009 the taxes collected exceeded the benefits paid by an average of $164 billion per year, from 2010 thru 2016 that number dropped to only $34 billion.

To illustrate just how bad a deal that Social Security let’s look at how private accounts would work. I used a sample case from the SSA website. I assumed that the employee and employer taxes would be invested in an account that you own. The money would be invested in an S&P 500 fund to keep it simple. An administrative fee of 0.17% is used which is consistent with these funds. In this example the person began to work in 1975 and earned $14,100 and retired at age 66 making $137,100. The person would begin receiving $3,064 per month until his death.

If the employee was able to invest his taxes as described above, he would have an account with a balance of $1,299,737 at retirement. With this he could do a number of things. He could purchase an annuity which would give him a guaranteed monthly payment of $9,767 (assuming 2.5% rate over 13 years), or he could leave it invested and draw out money as needed. Even if it earned zero interest, he could take a monthly payment of $8,332 over 13 years. And when he does die his beneficiary gets to keep the money. In this example the taxpayer’s benefit was $1,045,660 less than a private account would have been.

Opponents to privatization always point to the riskiness of the stock market. Yes it is risky and you can lose 100% of your investments. But plan design and education can greatly limit risk. If you look at the returns over all of the years (link below) you see that years with negative returns are highlighted. In 2008 when the internet bubble burst you see a 40% loss. Despite this over this time period the average return was about 7%.

This is a travesty and all tax payers should be able to own and manage their retirement accounts. It is too late for the baby boomers to benefit from privatization but we owe it to our youth to address this.

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