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speeding-train-lgFaster than a locomotive!
Faster than a speeding bullet!
It’s a bird, it’s a train…
No, it’s….

CONGRESS!

Congress is moving through bills and hearings at the speed of light. Focusing on one issue alone is a luxury we simply cannot afford.

Things are moving too fast, bills are too long, too many traditions and even rules are not being followed, and too many diversions are being created to either expect accurate projections can be made or statements relied upon as to when any particular bill will actually come up for a vote.

Following the wisdom of “those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it”, we must learn that we should act as if these issues are imminent.

If you followed events closely leading up to the House of Represenatives’ vote on HR 2454 aka Cap & Trade, you likely noticed:

  • The prevailing wisdom of pundits, think tanks, and many on Capitol Hill was “Cap & Trade is in trouble”
  • Most people following issues in the Federal government and politics in general were focused on the outrageous actions of ABC News in regards to President Obama’s Health Care Town Hall when the announcement was made that Cap & Trade would be up for a vote on the House floor.
  • The House voted on HR 2454 late on a Friday afternoon, the slowest news day of the week.
  • The media opted to cover the death of pop star Michael Jackson rather than the passage of the Cap & Trade bill in the House.
  • Over 300 pages were added in the middle of the night and no complete copy was available at the time of the vote

There are several issues that require our attention NOW and going forward until they are DEFEATED (or passed).

fax_machineACTIONS WE ALL NEED TO TAKE:

  • Maintain pressure on US Senate and House representatives (contact them)
  • On particular issues, contact your Governor, State legislators, county, and city representatives.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
  • Forward this message to everyone in your contacts list

Tips to be most effective:

CONTACTING CONGRESS:

  1. Call the office for your Senator or House reps. where your representatives are currently, right now that is D.C., but verify it on the phone call
  2. Ask to speak directly with your Senator or Congressman
  3. Be sure to give your zip code so they know you are a constituent
  4. Be polite, but firm
  5. The next best method to a phone call is a fax, the least, email

WHY CONTACT YOUR STATE & LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES?

bill of rights

  • Several bills currently moving through Congress, if passed, seriously encroach on states’ rights, and in turn will put a lot of pressure on county and city governments.
  • It is essential that our state governments assert their sovereign rights
  • Although State legislatures are not currently in session this is the period during which legislators have the time to consider issues that need attention, or bills they will sponsor.

__________________________________________________________

THE ISSUES & BILLS:

S. 909 Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Bill

Purpose: Increases penalties for certain crimes committed against certain people, particularly based on sexual orientation

Position: OPPOSE

Reasons:

  • Should not be snuck into a Defense spending bill
  • Endangers freedom of speech and religion
  • Presents problems with double jeapordy
  • Violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment by singling out certain groups of citizens to the exclusion of others

Status:

Included as an amendment to a Defense Spending Bill (S. 1390) late last week.

Links:

Text of the original S. 909 bill on THOMAS

Politico.com Story Regarding the Bill Nearing passage

Washington Times: F-22 Votes Stalls in Hate Crime Redux

Text of Defense Appropriations Bill S. 1391 on THOMAS

_______________________________________________________

Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court

Position: Senate member should oppose her nomination, vocally.

Reasons:

Sotomayor has made public statements and issued rulings that indicate:

  • Lack of respect for the right to bear arms
  • Racial and gender bias
  • Lack of respect for property rights
  • Has indicated “empathy” is a higher priority than following the law

Further:

  • Made a statement that appellate court judges make law
  • Her testimony last week has troubling contradictions in contrast to her writings and the facts of her life.
  • During hear testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she showed a surprising lack of technical legal knowledge during some questioning, particularly in an interchange with Senator Hatch.
  • Has had a high rate of judicial error – 40%+ (her rulings were overturned)
  • Supports abortion through her statement that Roe v. Wade is settled law

Principles:

  • We should oppose those who are not clearly strict constructionists
  • Supporters of the Constitution in the Senate need to start showing themselves
  • Members of the Senate need to put the President on notice regarding this and future nominees to the Court

Status:

Conclusion of the hearings process, no clear date available regarding full Senate floor vote

Links:

Gun Owners of America has been closely watching and researching this nominee, providing very good general information (beyond the Second Amendment) on their site.

GOA’s Executive Director Larry Pratt, was a guest on a special episode of the Blog Talk Radio show The Constitutional Liberty Coalition Gets Grizzly on Thursday, July 16 to discuss the Sotomayor nomination. Larry gave a good deal of detailed information about Sotomayor and why her nomination should be opposed. You can listen by clicking here.

Former Supreme Court Nominee Robert Bork made statements regarding Sotomayor and recent history on the confirmation process on Newsmaxx, Tuesday.

Wall Street Journal article on how little information was gleaned from Sotomayor’s testimony.

___________________________________________________

“Health Care Reform” / Socialized Medicine

Several versions exist Was H.R. 676 now, H.R. 3200 (see summary article, linked)

Stated Purpose: To make affordable health care available to all

Position: OPPOSE

Reasons:

Puts government in charge of health care decisions

Will implement rationing, meaning government will ultimately decide who suffers or not, who lives or dies

Will kill private health insurance

Will drive talent and innovation out of the health care industry, leading to a reduced quality of care

Will kill small businesses, particularly if certain versions pass

Anyone who states this will not lead to a single payer only (government!) is outright lying. There is ample evidence that supporters want government to be totally in charge of health care.

Status:

Unclear at this time. There are mixed messages from the White House and Congress. The President seemed to be continuing to push Congress to pass as quickly as possible despite the recent CBO report. Again, since there has been much “ducking and weaving” that has occurred, we must not let up on our opposition.

Links:

Text of H.R. 3200 on THOMAS

Forbes: A Bad Day for Obamacare?

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Report on cost of HR 3200

Forbes: Obamacare: The Cost Cutting Delusion

Wal-Mart supports socialized medicine

White House Less Firm on Date for Health Care Bill

Many Governors Oppose Health Care Bill: Label As Unfunded Mandate

_____________________________________________________

The PASS Act H.R. 1291

Stated Purpose: To better protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personally identifiable information collected by States when issuing driver’s licenses and identification documents, and for other purposes.

Position: OPPOSE

Reasons:

  • This is yet another stealth bill, being “sold” as an improvement to “Real ID”, which has been very controversial
  • Passage of this bill means a NATIONAL Identity Card
  • Contains Biometric data like facial recognition technology
  • Real ID has always been sold as a way to “make us safer”
  • Many states have outright refused to comply, that is the reason for this latest maneuver, “to improve privacy”

Status: Currently in committee in the Senate; the next opportunity for revisions is July 29.

Links:

Text of HR 1291

Stop Real ID Coalition has a great deal of detailed information on this issue and provides frequent status reports.

OpEd News Article on HR 1291

____________________________________________________

HR 2454 (2998) American Clean Energy and Security Act – Cap & Trade

Stated purpose: Reduce carbon emissions, achieve energy independence

Position: Oppose

Reasons:

Basic premise is entirely flawed, based on faulty / controversial science

Is about control, not “protecting the environment”

Violates the Tenth and Fourth Amendments in many respects through encroachment on states’ rights and required inspections

Will devastate America’s economy through regulations and taxes imposed on businesses, causing increased costs for energy

Will touch most aspects of our daily lives from the cars we drive to the appliances in our homes

Status:

Passed by the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009

Currently in the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW); Committee Chair Barb Boxer (D-CA) released a statement last week that this bill will not come up for a vote until after Congress’ August Recess

*Despite Sen. Boxer’s statement, it is important to stay on this issue!*

written jointly by Shelli Dawdy and Sandra Crosnoe

@Stubborn_Facts @scrosnoe

You probably recall the term “Taxation without Representation” as being a motto that fueled the American Revolution. The idea is simple. Englishmen in America paid taxes which were spent by a government they did not have a direct representative in.

Bush & Obama have done the same. When a government borrows money, the politicians who spent the money do not have to answer to the people who pay that debt. Instead of being separated by distance from the people paying, these politicians are now separated by time.

When you’re forced to pay and not represented, you are a slave of the state. Be sure to send thank you letters to your slave masters from the future. Or, be sure to go to one of the Tea Parties and be a part of the next revolution.

Also, change your avatar color to yellow at AvaTint.com to protest the increased government spending.

Ed Menendez is a technologist and freedom fighter based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

By request, here are my notes from today. Thanks to the
rain, the ink was disappearing as I was speaking!/ru

———————————————————–

I am not here today to talk about politics.

Let me tell you why.

For example, I’m not really interested in discussions about
this tax or that tax, because it amounts to debating whether
we should prefer a ball and chain around our ankles to a
yoke upon our necks.

In any case, as long as you are forced to pay tax to keep
your own homestead, you are a serf; the amount of such a
tax only defines the depth of your serfdom. Why do we not
hear impassioned calls for a “fair property tax” — which
would be none whatsoever?

The income tax forces you to share your profits with your
masters to further their own purposes. But even if you
object to the arrangement forced upon you, the property tax
says “you must work within whatever state profit-sharing
arrangement exists, or you will be homeless.”

Some people would like to tell you that one political party
or another, one political organization or another, or one
mass media demagogue or another is the answer. We have been
told this for as long as I can remember, for my entire life.

They tell you this because the last thing they want you to
realize is that the answer is actually within each one of
us. What we have been failing to do is to ask the right
questions.

I think I would receive much agreement here if I were to say
that stealing is wrong, regardless of whether or not it has
been legalized.

But is it wrong for the State, in the name of “law and
order”, to kill a man who resists stealing of his
possessions and furthermore refuses to be carted off to the
dungeon for mere defense of his property, with knowledge
that he would then both be in the dungeon and his property
would be taken to boot?

What about when the State lies about the value of a man’s
property, so that its self-interested taking of the property
can be spun as having come at less cost to the taxpayers?

Let’s go back a few generations with the “Ghost of Liberty
Past.” The economic historian Murray Rothbard wrote
extensively about colonial America, revealing scores of
events that have fallen down the public-school memory hole.

One such event is the Crown making a gift to William Penn of
what would later become Pennsylvania. The part of the story
that is not told is that it took Penn almost two decades to
successfully establish a government in Pennsylvania, because
the Quakers were not only not interested in political
government, but refused to consent to it, refused to
cooperate, and were otherwise incorrigible in their love for
liberty.

Another event that has been largely forgotten, when it has
not been misrepresented, is Shays’ Rebellion. The usual
story that is told is that farmers got themselves into debt,
declared war on the bankers, and were put down by state
troops with merely a dispassionate interest in “law and
order”. Well, the usual story omits a very important
detail: the “debt” that the farmers accrued was in the form
of unpaid taxes to the state of Massachusetts to cover debts
the state itself had run up. The mercantile interests
behind the state government, who would have profited from
the taxes, raised the army that put down the rebellion, and
thereby kept the poor in servitude to the state-connected
rich.

These stories hint at the reasons why Thomas Jefferson said
a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. He didn’t
mean post angry messages on Internet message boards. He
didn’t mean go door to door and try to convince people of
the correctness of your political views. Nor did he mean to
provoke violent confrontation, as anger and frustration
tends to lead to. He meant intelligent, calculated
resistance to political power, together with your families,
neighbors, and friends.

Do you really want independence on this Independence Day?
Resolve to do like the Quakers did. Buy some fertile land
somewhere you wish to live, and as time goes by, buy even
more land from the surrounding areas. Sell plots within
your land to family and friends who share your beliefs.
When someone comes in from some faraway government
pretending to have the authority to order you around,
politely tell them to leave and not to return.

They are likely to return anyway — given that government
will have no other gods before it — but by owning a large
area of land settled with people who refuse their demands,
their attempts at controlling you will be like trying to
ride a bicycle through a bog. Your little enclave will be
successful at practical resistance where the single family
hiding out in a remote Idaho homestead would not be. A
thousand such enclaves would send Washington D.C. into
bankruptcy proceedings.

If you can’t afford land, then find economic independence as
soon as you can. During the bailout votes, there was a lot
of talk about “Going Galt”, which is to essentially stop
working in order to stop paying taxes. But, if you are
broke, the power elite will have their way with you, because
he who has the money makes the rules. You will not be able
to buy the land, tools, and other capital you need in order
to live an independent life.

My suggestion instead is to work hard AND pay no taxes.
There is a bustling community on Craigslist of people
buying, selling, and trading everything under the sun, with
no government regulations or taxes involved. Spend your
time when you are away from your corporate job in the
official economy learning to do something that is valuable
in the underground, unofficial economy. And if you have not
yet redeemed your Federal Reserve notes for gold and silver
coin, for heaven’s sake, do so while you still can.

Maybe one day, we the people will have the power not only to
vote for a new crop of legislators, but to do as the kings
did when they would dissolve Parliament and send the whole
lot of scoundrels home for a year. Maybe we will one day
have the power to live our lives in our own style, following
our own moral code even when it is in opposition to the
moral code of government.

But until that day comes, declare independence in your head,
and get busy living the way you want to live. Nobody is
going to do it for you. Declare your independence!


Ryan C. Underwood
runderwo(at)mail.win.org

[Editor’s note: We don’t have video from this event yet, but will post when/if available]

Factoid #1: You are organizing local events and working very hard, but want a consolidated site for listing events and ways to be connected to others doing the similar things.  Some groups are trying to take credit for what you are doing, have their own agendas, are attempting to raise money from these efforts, and building databases of contact information.

Solution #1: A site that is run by the grassroots for the grassroots that doesn’t try to solicit for or capture the general publics’ contact information, doesn’t appeal for fund donations for no clearly stated purpose, and whose agenda is transparent.

grassrootsvsastroturf2-300x112We decided, with all of that in mind, to create Tea Party Grassroots.  Because we started from scratch, we decided to strive for a listing venue that would be useful to activists for many kinds of events and activities.  So in addition to a section for All Events, we have added the following categories:

•    Tea Party
•    Other Rallies & Protests
•    Conferences & Conventions
•    Media Events
•    Volunteer Activities
•    Liberty Rider Itinerary

Next we will be exploring creating listings by states.  As time allows, we are featuring individual events as a top post on the site.  Featured events are automatically propagated through a number of channels including automatic feeds on Twitter and Facebook.

We have employed a number of tools on the site that offer extendable functionality; Google Calendar and Maps.  Full calendars (by category or All Events) can be copied over to people’s personal calendars using the iCal (.ics) technology and map links are embedded. When events are listed, we copy the information over to the map and use a specific pin for each category. The map is located here.  Like the Calendar, the map can be copied over to a visitors’ own Google map.

In addition to the features noted above, we have a growing group on Facebook, which will be updated regularly and “bigger” events listed. For example, for July 4, a “national” Independence Tea Party Event has been created.   We will list links to individual location events for that date from the primary listing site (to prevent exclusion of multiple events on same date from occurring).

In addition to the event listings, we are providing some helpful information and resources to site visitors such as signs and slogan ideas, suggestions for getting involved, and founding documents.

Factoid #2: People are looking for ways to connect with others of like mind and work on projects together.

Solution #2: Those of us who have been putting these events on and bringing people together in our local areas to have an impact on swiftly moving events have many good ideas which we can share with one another. We all need input from others, and we all need support from those who have “been there” in dealing with the many issues that arise. We need to be able to communicate with one another, so we have also created a site for organizers and activists:  Tea Party Grassroots Organizers

This is the place where the listing form for submitting events is located, along with a form to offer to volunteer to help us with this project, and a form to submit a blog post.  We are adding resources on a daily basis to assist organizers and activists in their efforts.

We created a blog site, Tea Blogs: Tea Party Tales, specifically for organizers to share their stories and thoughts about the movement. A blog post submission form is available on the Organizers site.

In addition to the site and blog, we created a Twitter ID and Hashtag for Tea Party Organizers, TPOrg #tporg.  This is one id that has posts from the Tea Party Grassroots and Organizers sites automatically fed.  We encourage organizers to use the hashtag in communications with one another, and many have already begun to do so.

If used widely, this tag could enable very fast communications among a large number of people. Not only could we all retweet events and other important information for one another, but, we could also provide quick support when help is needed.

Finally, there is further work to be done in providing the kind of communications ability for organizers and activists for which we are striving. We do have a forum, which is currently turned to private (that means you cannot see it yet but if people are ready to take care of it that could be changed quickly).  We are currently looking at options, however, to be installed on the Organizers site, to keep communications all in one place. If you would like to help with this part of the project, let us know.

========================================


Now you might ask who is the ‘we’ in this piece.  Most of the site development was done by Shelli Dawdy, Joan Fabiano, and Sandra Crosnoe.  In a broader sense, many of the Constitutional Liberty Coalition had input and provided testing and insight all along the way.  Thanks to each and everyone who helped and continues to provide guidance and share with grassroots folks everywhere.

Tea Party GrassrootsOccasionally something is so clear to me that I assume others understand. Then I find out that is not true. So to that end this seems very necessary to go over and may be old information to some. Did you know that there are those among us who are actually empowering those who would destroy us with time, talent, and treasure? Yes folks, we are complaining about the enemy and the enemy is in our midst. If we refuse to recognize the problem, how will we deal with the problem?

Is it easy? NO!

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8

It means we must insist on a standard that other groups do not have. It means that we must challenge those among us not doing things properly. It means that we must examine our own hearts and repent daily and ask forgiveness of God and our brothers and sisters when we err. It means that we stand ready to rescue the one sheep who is being abused by the tyrant even when it means that others will look down on us for doing so. It means answering to the Lord God Almighty above men and the desires of men (and women too – this writer uses masculine for mankind with no qualms to PC!)

The purpose of this piece is to announce a new site that is born out of a need to protect the Grassroots. It will succeed only if grassroots people choose to engage and support and promote. It was worth doing whether that occurs or not because you will have been given a choice. You will know which choice you made and why.

TeapartyGrassroots.com is now online. At this incredible site you can find an event or list an event. The event will be published to a composite page and a master teaparty google calendar. We have also opened a page and a calendar for LibertyRider – Michael Maresco and his cross country ride with day one now complete and Michael safely in Trenton NJ. This website and calendar process has huge implications for our movement and the protection thereof if you will make it yours. If you continue to empower the national groups sapping your strength – that will be your choice because at least now you have an option. [Editor’s note: more sections to this project are opening daily including now: all events, teaparties, other rallies and protests, liberty rider days, conventions and conferences, media events, and volunteer opportunities.]

Please try it out and take your name off of the national sites who are taking credit for your efforts and trying to collect money from your grassroots constituents to do things that you may or may not agree with at all! I was recently at a meeting where a field director from a national group took personal credit for all the teaparties in Oklahoma. I personally knew that wasn’t true so do you think I believed the other things he claimed credit for? I am not saying these national groups are all bad – just must be reined in and monitored closely by real people who actually want bailouts stopped, the constitution followed, etc. etc.

I pray you will ponder these matters and understand the importance of proper action. Please properly empower the real servant leaders among you and rein in those who are plundering your efforts and sapping your energy to other ends. Please let us know how you plan to help by commenting on this piece here and sharing it with your networks if you are in agreement.

For Life and Liberty,
Sandra Crosnoe for
Constitutional Liberty Coalition

My friend Joan – @apackof2 on Twitter – loves her country.

You know, the America of the ’57 Chevy, “See the USA in Your Chevrolet”, Mom, baseball, and apple pie?

She heard the song “American Beauty” and knew it embodied the America of her memories, so she asked a volunteer to make a Tea Party video for her based on the song.

An excellent idea with excellent results:

Joan organized the Feb. 27th and April 15 Tea Parties in Lansing, MI at the State Capitol, and is currently working on an event for July 4.

OK a bicycle trek across country is not a teaparty!  But we thought you might want to invite Michael to an event near you along his route and visit the local sheriff with him.  That would be educational and fun and productive too.  If you take pictures and invite press, you just might get the story out to many more.  Have fun along the way and win the hearts and minds of others along with Michael Maresco.  For Liberty!

=======================================

Well, 7 days out.liberty in or out - ridesirtawake1grey 400

Will be six before many people read this.

Time to start the journal.

I’d like to get one thing out of the way right off the bat, and it may surprise a few of you, but I am not a cyclist.

In fact, I am not even much of a fitness buff, at all. I’ve never been to a gym, haven’t formerly exercised since High School, and before the Ride for Ron Paul, had never owned a road bike, nor pedaled more than a few miles in any one direction. So, though I’ve quite a bit of experience pedaling, now, I am still not a cyclist.

This surprises plenty of people I meet. Many think I just took something I enjoy and worked it into a political event. The truth of the matter is that I was watching too many people debating tactics/philosophy online and not enough posting evidence of taking those tactics to the street. So I decided to do something outrageous, so far outside of my “box” that even the most timid supporter might look and say, well if that Hawaiian guy can pedal a bike across the country for freedom, I can go knock on my neighbors door.

And it worked.

That remains the greatest satisfaction from the last ride. Not the thrill of finishing, not the celebrity it brought me, not even meeting and riding with Ron Paul. The greatest satisfaction I get from that ride is the testimony of people I meet, who tell me that the effort encouraged them to step out of their own box, and opened up a whole new world of effective activism to them. That is how I judge success. To me, there is little difference between approaching that first mountain range, and approaching their first door. Both are equally intimidating in the eyes of the beholder. Getting to the top of that first range, or walking away from that first door, is a watershed moment for most. When we realize that we CAN do this. With a little bit of courage, and a  LOT of determination we can do things we never dreamed. And that is how we will take back control of our government. Persistence, determination, and a little bit of courage. It may not be sexy, and may not even be much fun, but it certainly is satisfying at the end of the day. Knowing you did everything in your power to advance the cause of liberty and leave a better world than we were born into. Indeed, it truly is not, whether we win or lose, but how we play the game.

So, well wishers tell me how much fun I’ll be having. And yes, I will enjoy meeting all of you on the route, I will enjoy seeing the light turn on behind peoples eyes as I pitch the ideas of the r3VOLution to them, I will, also, enjoy some of the beautiful scenery this great country has to offer. I’m sure I will laugh and sing with new met friends, and that will be fun, but pedaling? No, sorry, that is not much fun at all. It is hot, dirty, and dangerous on the roads I’ll be traveling. It takes enormous concentration to watch ahead for pitfalls and tube shredders. The bike seat becomes harder with each passing mile, my knees start talking to me, and on long days they start yelling. No, I do not expect to have a ton of fun on this trip, but the satisfaction of hearing one person explain that the effort encouraged them to find such determination in themselves, that to me is priceless.

Now, back to the title of this post. What I do enjoy, while pedaling, is the chance to think, to meditate on all I’ve learned and experienced, and focus my mind on ways to further our cause. Pedaling is kind of mindless, it just takes a sharp eye, a good ear, and a steady pace. When my mind is free to ponder, not clouded by the online noise and incessant calls for help from all corners, I am better able to discern the culture of the area I am in and tailor my message to suit.  And by being out there, talking to people outside our circles, I know the circles grow.

And that is why I do it.

GO GRASSROOTS!!!

Michael Maresco

@mkauai

#R4liberty

Editor’s note:  Please visit Liberty Rider and help with Michael’s Ride for Honesty setting Liberty loose across the land one heart and mind at a time.  Meet him along the way, replicate his efforts in your state and branch out to all 50 states throught this effort.  Have fun as you go.  Freedom is popular!