The criminality of cash

Just about anyone that knows me knows that I tend to lean toward a conservative/independent political point of view in most of my thinking. I have had a dissatisfaction with our government and government policies for a while, though more recently I have grown increasingly vocal about it because of the glaring opposition I have toward president Obama’s political views.

However there are times that I see things that were implemented under previous administrations that incense me as much as, if not more than, the current administrations decisions. Yesterday I got an email from Campaign for Liberty, an organization that supports Ron Paul and his political philosophies. They are more American Independent oriented politically and I do not necessarily agree with everything they preach, but in the case of the events mentioned in this email I could only be left with disgust toward the Bush administration for the implementation of policies that have affected good old American citizens who have been identified as displaying “terrorist” tendencies.

Campaign for Liberty’s very own Steve Bierfeldt has become an unexpected Internet sensation — and the latest target of over-reaching federal government agents.

You see, Steve was detained by Airport Police and TSA officials shortly after the Campaign for Liberty regional conference in St. Louis.

The officials rudely berated and harassed Steve for 30 minutes in a secluded room at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Fortunately, Steve was able to record nearly all of the interrogation with his cell phone.

Steve’s alleged “crime”? Carrying $4,700 in checks and cash from Campaign for Liberty, along with various other materials from our conference.

The local and Federal agents harassed Steve. They were belligerent, cursing and using insulting language. They threatened to turn Steve over to the DEA and the FBI, all the while refusing to inform him of his legal rights or explain how cash and checks threatened airplane or airport security.

Throughout the interrogation, Steve remained polite but resolute and declined to answer the invasive questions without an adequate explanation from these federal and local agents as to why they needed to be answered. Without telling Steve what law he was accused of breaking, they continued their harassment.

Although they grew increasingly frustrated that he remained committed to exercising his rights, intervention from another officer eventually led the police to reluctantly release Steve.

Last Wednesday, Steve appeared on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch to discuss the flagrant violation of his rights and to promote the importance of each of us defending our civil liberties.

Here is the video clip. Listen to the recording that is played during this video and how well Steve handled the interrogation he was put through. The TSA had absolutely no right to treat him the way they did. And the thought that he was detained simply because he had a few thousand dollars in cash and checks on him makes me even angrier. Imagine if you had money on you while trying to board a plane and were treated like a terrorist because of it. What the crap?

I wonder what it is going to take to keep this crap from happening anymore. No American citizen should be treated the way Steve was just because they are carrying cash and checks, especially when there is absolutely no cause for it. There were no reports of theft locally and no reports of criminal activity in which the suspect resembled Steve (at least none mentioned in the report of the story). I am amazed that the TSA and airport police have this level of authority to carry out actions of this nature without being under the scrutiny of some type of oversight agency. This freaks me out.

But more than anything it makes me yearn for change. I hope president Obama has something on his list of things to change that covers this.

So many things to not like about Obama

Last night President Obama gave another prime time press conference to fill in our great nation of what he is doing to make our economy better and what his plans are to right the ship. After listening to the entire speech and subsequent press questions, I was left with so many disappointments.

I know he is doing what he thinks is right for our country. I cannot say he is doing the best he can because I don’t think anyone has ever seen his best. But I can say that in his effort to make his administration transparent I am left with more questions than answers and a complete bewilderment as to when he is even going to answer a direct question with a direct answer.

The speech was pretty, much like all his other speech writers. His speech writers deserve at least a nice bottle of wine for their efforts. But his lack of experience and complete inability to boldly take a specific stance on a specific subject still shows how much growing as a leader he has left to do. When asked the question “Will you sign a budget if it does not contain a middle-class tax cut, does not contain cap and trade?” Mr. Obama returned with a very long response and never even really touched on the subject. When asked a second time he again did not answer with a yes or a no. He simply skirted the issue again.

When asked, multiple times, about his delay in responding to the AIG mess and why it seemed that governor Cuomo was handling the matter more than Obama, he finally retorted with “It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak, you know?”. I think we know, Mr. President. I think we know that you have access to more information than anyone in the world and that nothing in this country happens without you knowing about it first. That was the second weakest cop out of the night in my opinion.

The first weakest cop out, and the one thing about Mr. Obama that continually pisses me off, can be found in his response to the question about some congressional republicans calling his budget proposal “the most irresponsible budget in American history” and the asking of the question “Isn’t that kind of debt exactly what you were talking about when you said “passing on our problems to the next generation?”. The first thing he did was pass the buck back to the last administration. Again.

I am so sick and tired of his belly aching over the mess that was handed to him. He knew what he was getting himself into when he ran for president. He knew the situation we are in. We do not need our leader to keep looking back when asked about his budget plans. We need him to look us in the eye and tell us that though it looks bad now, because of the structure of his plan, it will end brighter than it starts out. He needs to show us that he has a plan, a clear plan, to dig us out of the hole that the Bush administration put us into. He needs to step up and take responsibility for what is to come instead of pawning off responsibility to those that are no longer in office.

I am still waiting for Mr. Obama to become the leader that so many people believed he was when he won the presidential race. So far I have only seen someone that knows how to politic, hire great speech writers and evade questions. I have still not seen his plan, though he claims to be the most transparent president in history. And I have yet to see the hope that he said he would bring as soon as he took office. So many promises not fulfilled.

It is my prayer that he succeeds in all that he does. So far all he has done is given a crap load of money to some corrupt banks, make abortion more accessible, prevent us from handling terrorists in ways that were working and conduct several very well worded press conferences. Though he has done one thing that he said he wouldn’t do that I think it a good idea.

As part of his campaign he said he would be bringing our troops home from the middle east within 18 months. To do that, he has sent almost 20,000 more troops to the area. Way to show you care about bringing our troops home Mr. President. Hopefully you will still make your target. God, I hope you do.

Until then, could you perhaps learn to answer a yes or no question with a yes or a no? And for the love of Mike, please stop reminding us that the mess is not your fault. Show us what you are going to do to get us out of it instead.


References:
The complete transcript of the questions asked Mr. Obama and his answers
Reactions to his press conference
How Politico.com saw it

Since when have the courts become parents?

Someone recently sent me a link to a court case in which a judge ordered homeschooled children into public school based on his decision that the children needed more ‘focus’. This, despite the fact the kids in question had tested above their grade levels.

A North Carolina judge has ordered three children to attend public schools this fall because the homeschooling their mother has provided over the last four years needs to be “challenged.”

The children, however, have tested above their grade levels – by as much as two years.

The decision is raising eyebrows among homeschooling families, and one friend of the mother has launched a website to publicize the issue.

The ruling was made by Judge Ned Mangum of Wake County, who was handling a divorce proceeding for Thomas and Venessa Mills.

I couldn’t believe this was a real and true story. This kind of injustice doesn’t happen in America. Does it? I know judges have an appointed authority to interpret the law and enforce it accordingly, but if you read some of Judge Mangum’s own quotes you can’t help but be left with the same questions I am sure all people who read them have.

How can any judge see this case in the manner in which Judge Mangum is seeing it? How can he favor so heavily in favor of a father that has admittedly committed adultery, repeatedly, and has even gone so far as to admit that he took time away form his kids to pursue relations with his mistress? How can this judge feel as negatively as he does toward Mrs. Mills?

I am astonished by this to be honest. If you are a home schooling parent I would encourage you, if you are not already a member, to become a member of the Home School Legal Defense Association. It is an invaluable resource for home schooling families and something that every home school parent should be a part of.

And if you haven’t yet, stop on by The Homeschool Injustice blog set up by Mills family friend Robyn Williams and offer a word of encouragement to Venessa or support for the case that she is so valiantly fighting right now.

Government knows best

There was a time in our country when parents were afforded the position of “knowing what is best” for their children. In fact it wasn’t that long ago that parents were not only expected to tend to their kids but were encouraged to do so. But it seems as though the government has become increasingly interested in the governing of not just the political landscape. Apparently the government wants into your family now.

I had heard about this issue originally from a Home School Legal Defense Association newsletter and I later read about Senator Barbara Boxer seeking to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. After reading the content and the message behind it I am left with an overwhelming disgust for our government. Not that I liked the government before, but this makes me want to become a politician just so I can speak out against this crap.

How can any politician believe, at all, that the government knows better than a parent when it comes to raising and handling their own kids? I know there are edge cases of neglect, abuse, bad parenting and utter parental stupidity that could easily be recounted that might provide a small sense of justification for this. But I would say that in the bulk of families that could be affected by a decision like this most have parents that are in some way or another involved in the welfare of their children. The government does not need to pass an intrusive legal decision that would in effect put the governments decisions regarding children above the decisions of the parents of those children.

Does this not seem odd to you? I take comfort in knowing that as a parent I am responsible for my children. I take comfort in knowing that since I live in a free country, a country that does no derive its identity nor its principles from the government which covers it, that I can parent my children however I see fit. Like home schooling my kids. Like disciplining them as I see fit. Like providing for them, sheltering them and teaching them the way that I, as their parent, think is the best way.

I hope Senator Boxer takes one on the chin with this attempt. Seriously, the government is meddling in affairs that it just should not be in. Parenting is one of those areas and that really needs to be left up to the experts: us parents.

Failure is the style of the day

In light of the recent “will of the people” to save failing banks and our tanking economy, and in keeping with the tradition of rewarding failure with lots and lots of taxpayer cash, I felt it appropriate to write about two stories that have me wondering when the government funding of stupidity and management failure will eventually trickle down to me.

I read a few days ago that AIG, one of the earliest recipients of government money for the purpose of saving a dying business, is seeking to restructure their obligation to the government while at the same time asking for more money. Apparently the billions that were “lent” to AIG were not enough to keep them financially sound for more than a few months. Now, they need more AND they need to be let off the hook for what they have been given. Dude, where can I get some of that?

In other banking related news, it was reported by TMZ.com that Northern Trust, a bank that received $1.6 Billion in federal bailout money, spent a gob of cash on a sponsorship of the Northern Trust Open golf tournament at the Riviera Country Club in L.A. The story was also picked up by The Chicago Tribune, which reported a response to the original news report by a spokesperson from Northern Trust. Can anyone say back pedalling?

With all of this “rescuing” being offered by the government to these humongous corporations and organizations, I cannot help but be reminded of some of the presidential campaign promises the Obamasiah made when running for our votes. Some of those things revolved around the premise that he would work for the middle class, working family and that big business has benefited enough from past administrations. Forgive me if I sound a little ignorant here, but exactly how does taking more of our money and handing it over to a collection of large, irresponsible financial institutions equate to helping the middle class working family and not benefiting large corporations? Any idiot with a pen and an elected office could have done that. I thought we elected hope, change and a new sense of patriotism?

Oh well, maybe one day, when every American has lost their house and people are killing one another in the streets to bring a piece of bread home for their families, the large banks that are throwing these lavish parties will open their restrooms for us so we can clean up a little bit. It’s the least they can do for us, seeing as we are the ones paying for their banquets, their marketing, their airplanes, their bonuses, their salaries and other niceties that they would have to forego without out money.

Do we at least get tickets to the games?

According to a Bloomberg News article Citigroup and seven other US banks are spending federal bailout money on large stadium naming rights deals.

Citigroup Inc., targeted by lawmakers for paying $400 million to put its name on the New York Mets’ new ballpark, and seven other banks that received government funds may face questioning by Congress for spending $845 million on stadium sponsorships.

I have no qualms about putting the government in its place. So in regards to this article I can say without prejudice that the government has failed its people in monumental fashion on this one.

How can a bank help its struggling homeowners when they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising? People are still being foreclosed on, homes are still being lost, businesses are still going under. Why in the bloody hell would a bank that sought out federal financial aid use any portion of that money on naming right to a stadium? No jobs would be created in the making of that stupid move. No homes would be saved, no people would be helped. So how does that reflect the intention of the government to help out its people?

I know that the Obamassiah is trying to make changes to bailout fund handling, and he talks a big game when it comes to doling out cash, but I cannot see how he is going to make sure that stupid crap like this doesn’t happen under his $800,000,000,000 bailout plan. Yes, he can limit executive salaries, bonuses and stock options. But how is he going to reach deep into the heart of the business and put an end to financial mismanagement like this? Without going communistic/socialistic in the process? I just don’t see how that is going to work.

In the meantime I think I will use my part of the federal bailout money to buy some tickets to some sporting events. Oh wait, we don’t actually get any money as part of the Obamanator’s plan to save the world from financial destruction. That’s right.

But since my tax dollar are going to buying a sweet new sign on several ball parks, can’t a brother get a couple of tickets? Just as a thank you?