Friday, March 28, 2014

Nanny State of Mind

It does not matter how many weeks of vacation (Europeans get five), often paid by the nanny state, leisure time and holidays are not enough for the socialist-minded, entitled liberals.  In these five weeks of vacation, employees have the choice to go to spas abroad, often in five star hotels, where pampering, massage, physical therapy, mud baths, sulphur baths, excellent food, and strolls in the most beautiful resorts of Europe are all subsidized by the generous employers “nudged” by socialist policies or by the government.

Years ago, one of my South American colleagues who hailed from a socialist state and spent high school years in France, had the temerity to ask Justice Scalia during the Q & A session of a speech on liberty, why does the Supreme Court not give Americans 2-3 years paid maternity leave and more holidays to spend time with their families? Americans work so hard and look at all the successful countries around the world that place so much emphasis on family and leisure time.

As I know quite well, Europeans place so much emphasis on family that they are committing demographic suicide by having less and less babies, in some countries way below the population replacement value, including countries with Catholic values. But then again, European churches are more or less museums, visited by foreign tourists and frequented by older people who fervently believe in God. The young and the socialists are generally atheist or agnostic. Many of them use churches for convenient traditions such baptism, marriage, and funerals.

I found my colleague’s comment amusing because I knew how broke the European socialist states were in spite of the large revenues from confiscatory income taxes; socialist technocrats had taxed their citizens to death in order to pay for welfare to their own and to the hordes of Muslim invaders who were placated because the customs of the countries they flooded into were offensive to them.

My colleague, a green card holder, had no understanding how a Constitutional republic functions, and did not understand that the Supreme Court is not supposed to legislate from the bench. Unfortunately they do, as was the case of the very expensive and unaffordable Affordable Care Act, deemed a “tax” by a Supreme Court Justice, when in reality it is medical insurance.

Academics work on the average about nine months out of the year and have generous paid leave and numerous holidays. The answer Justice Scalia gave was memorable, “Where is your work ethic? You don’t like to work, Madam? Stay at home with your family. But if you do, who is going to pay the bills?” The embarrassing silence was followed by a low murmur.

I had no idea then that a few years later, during the most transformational administration in U.S. history, fifty percent of Americans would become the “envied” Europeans, the egalitarian socialist welfare dependents seen in movies so fashionably dressed, so much smarter and refined than the loud Americans, never leaving cafes, smoking, discussing art and literature, and sipping on a bottomless glass of wine.

I never thought that Americans, with their strong work ethic, would become the happy beneficiaries of generational welfare and would perfect a way to game the system to their utmost advantage.  Even those out of a job, thanks to the disastrous Democrat economic policies, would receive generous two-year unemployment benefits while working off the books.

The lavish and lucrative cradle to grave nanny system worked well for Europeans for a long time in spite of the fact that their governments are broke. Employees are quite adept at receiving their pay under the table in cash. The underground economy that pays no tax is thriving.

Having lost its moral compass, the nanny state U.S.A. has become a society reeking of greed, envy, hate, corruption, lawlessness, and promiscuity. The takers and the entitled, legal and illegal, have outnumbered the givers.  

The takers, who repeatedly vote without an I.D. because they are too dumb to procure one but smart enough to produce an I.D. for welfare benefits and free healthcare, will guarantee that our society will become and remain a socialist nanny state.

While those accustomed to sloth are on permanent vacations, free to find themselves and play guitar, thanks to those who still get up and go to work every day, they have the audacity to complain and demonstrate vociferously against those “greedy rich” who do not pay their “fair share.” How did we get here, who bred such a nanny mentality? The answer appears simple – government, the main stream media, Hollywood, television, feminists, liberals, progressives, teachers, and professors.

The Environmentalists Are Not Giving Up

Liberty Farm, Paris, Virginia
Photo: Martha Boneta, March 2014
The small farmers in Virginia rejoiced when Senate Bill 51 and House Bill 268, dubbed the “Boneta Bill,” passed both houses and the Democrat Governor Terry McAuliffe signed it. The bill gave farmers legal protection from overreaching and overzealous county bureaucrats who impose unreasonable requirements and unnecessary fees on small farmers.

The bills, sponsored by state Senator Richard Stuart (R-Montross) and state Delegate Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg), protect “agricultural operations from local regulation” and limit the government’s ability to require “special-use permits” for farm activities. Among many things, “Martha’s bill prevents counties from imposing a $100 fee to grow tomatoes.”

Martha Boneta, the farmer at the center of this protracted battle in Virginia said, “No Virginian should be forced to lose everything when they fight city hall.” Her farm is embroiled in a costly legal battle with Fauquier County supervisors over the use of her own farmland.

Boneta explained, “Corn mazes and pumpkin carvings were considered ‘events’ that required site plans and a mile-long list of red tape that can be suffocating.”

“There is an illusion that farmers are allowed to sell all their products because there are farmers markets and one-day bake sales. ... These are exemptions granted at the whim of government. I have 33 acres with cows. If I had the ability to sell all my farm products (including raw milk) directly to the public, I could make $56,000 a year. But not under existing regulations.” (Bernadette Barber, founder of Virginia Food Freedom)

Martha Boneta found herself at the center of the battle for farm freedom and property rights when she held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls at her Liberty Farm. Fauquier County deemed this party illegal because it lacked a permit. “Why would I need a permit for pumpkin carving?” Boneta said.
Boneta was issued a special license in 2011 which allowed her to run a “retail farm shop” in which she sold handspun yarns, fresh vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, and craft items such as birdhouses. Fauquier County Board of Supervisors changed in 2011 the “farm sales classification” to require a special permit for activities that were previously included in the permit that Boneta had already been issued. Faced with fines of $5,000 per violation under charges that she held a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a permit and a “site plan,” advertised one wine tasting, sold postcards with pictures of her rescued farm animals, sold wool fiber products from her sheep and alpacas, and sold organic tea from herbs grown in her garden, even though she had a business license, Martha paid $500 to appeal these unjust administrative charges. “The county zoning administrator told her at the hearing that “Martha was out of line,” for appealing these charges.”

Mark Fitzgibbons wrote that “Fauquier County also passed a winery ordinance that blatantly violates property rights and civil liberties.  It gives Fauquier zoning administrator Kimberley Johnson discretion to create penalties and to prohibit private personal gatherings.

Fitzgibbons said that “A local but powerful group called the Piedmont Environment Council (

wholeheartedly backed that illegal, anti-liberty winery ordinance.  The PEC seems to have an unusual if not disturbing amount of influence over Fauquier County officials.

Barber described the Boneta Bill victory as “opening the barn door for the blossoming farm-to-table movement.” However, bureaucrats and NGOs do not give up easily. Undaunted, no sooner had the ink dried on the signatures on the bill, the environmentalists came calling for a farm inspection of Martha’s Liberty Farm.

Property owners and farmers are fined, bullied, threatened based not just on zoning ordinances, but also via environmental conservation easements with onerous requirements, and farm inspections.

Martha Boneta’s farm is the only farm in the state of Virginia that has four required inspections per year. Inspectors used to come several times a month until Boneta complained. She gets a seven day notice.

The inspections are intended to “measure” the size of an apartment that Boneta is permitted to have. However, nobody lives on the farm; they have not built an apartment yet. Instead, PEC inspectors (at times as few as 2 and other times as many as 11) come into the converted barn that holds tools, tables, furniture with drawers, wool bundles, closets, and rummage through drawers, open closets, inspect the contents, an obvious violation of the farmer’s privacy.

According to Martha Boneta, the inspectors came on March 25, were rude, angry, aggressive, and disrespectful, pushing their way into her cottage although she told them they were fine outside. They took pictures even though Martha did not give them permission to do so and it is not stipulated in her conservation easement. “They are running roughshod over people because there is no oversight over these people.”

During this recent visit, an observer commented that seeing the two inspectors rummaging through Martha’s personal belongings, opening closets, drawers, touching and going through personal items reminded her of what “must have been like during Nazi Germany. I feel invaded, I feel violated, and I feel like I need to go take a shower.” When questions were asked of the inspectors, they responded, “we don’t have to answer you.”

Martha Boneta had a conservation easement with Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), an NGO, when she bought her farm from the previous owners. Donna Holt explained that “PEC holds the easement and that makes them a stakeholder in the property although they don’t own the land or pay taxes on it.  They have the right, under the terms of the contract, to inspect it for compliance of the terms of the easement. The language is vague, they make rules as they see fit, and the courts usually uphold them.”

Martha used tires on her property to “help hollow fields for plowing, train animals to move in a certain direction, and assist in planting. PEC sued Boneta, saying that the tires violated her agricultural conservation easement, and she was forced to store them in an enclosure.” Tires were the least of her numerous and constant problems with PEC.

A “conservation easement” imposes certain restrictions on the homeowners’ use of their property in exchange for tax breaks. These easements have a specific length or can be permanent.

A private citizen described PEC on Facebook, “This group has even sued about a $25 hose attachment because it interfered with the "view-shed." They claim to want to protect us but they really want to take away our property rights.” He explained that the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF), “the parent organization of PEC only inspects farms maybe once every three years and are not subjected to inspections of drawers and personal belongings, don’t have pictures taken of their families or drive-bys by the PEC or their agents.” They are empowered by the federal government and the state and act as agents of the local county of Fauquier.”

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) protects more than 725,000 acres of open space in Virginia, mostly through conservation easements.

Joel Sallatin warns American farmers and land owners about those “sincere conservation easements” because “Ultimately, these easements reduce farm viability and gradually turn Virginia’s pastoral landscape into a wilderness area.” This type of green environmental movement is probably not what the average American envisions. “Giving over farm decisions to people who neither farm nor adapt their approaches jeopardizes farmers’ livelihoods. Ultimately, preserving farmers is the only sustainable way to preserve farms.”

The tax breaks are a welcome relief for farmers who struggle to make a living on their land but they are presented through rose-colored glasses. But, at a time when food is expensive, we are using more crops for biofuels, and we have to import food from other nations, the obvious and most important question is - why would a landowner place good farmland under perpetual conservation easement in order to preserve it? Preserve working farmland for what? Land owners and farmers should seek and request opt-out policies before they sign onto conservation easements.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Man's Inhumanity to Man: Cannibalism in China

Source: Unknown
I remember the story of the Uruguayan air force flight 571 that crashed in the Andes in 1972 with 45 people on board and the 16 survivors who cannibalized the snow-preserved dead in order to survive. Humanity recoiled in horror.

During the 1932-1933 Russian engineered famine called Holomodor (extermination by hunger) in Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians died of starvation while some relatives, friends, and neighbors engaged in cannibalism to survive.  Survivor Olena Goncharuk felt the terror: “We were afraid to go out in the village, because people were starving and they hunted children. My neighbor had a daughter, who disappeared. We went to her house. The head was separated from the body, and the body was cooking in the oven.”

I wrote about the inhumanity of desperate and callous human beings in the quest for survival – it is glaring and devastating evidence why communists should never be allowed to take power again. Hundreds of thousands of Moldovans died at the hands of their Soviet Socialist tormentors who confiscated their crops by force and shipped the food to the USSR. Wheat and corn was left to rot and mold in uncovered wagons at train stations; it was done to leave farmers as poor and desperate as possible in order to better manipulate and control them.  It was a Soviet state secret - nobody was allowed to write or speak about the horrors that took place in Chisinau, Orhei, Balti, Cahul, and other villages, how collectivization agents took the last drop of food and grain from the farmer’s barns, and how the children of Moldova were kidnapped, brought into homes, murdered, cooked, and eaten.

The infamous Donner Party (1846-1847) composed of 87 emigrants from Illinois was trapped en route to Sutter’s Fort (Sacramento of today) in the Sierra Nevada Mountains by heavy snow with little food, shelter, or possibility of rescue since the Mexican War was fought at the time. A year later, 46 people were finally rescued, having survived by cannibalizing the deceased. Two-thirds of the men died but two-thirds of the women and children lived. Most of the members of the Donner family did not survive.

Unspeakable horror, abuses, suffering, and mass murder experienced by humans at the hand of other humans pale in comparison with the Nazi genocide, Stalin’s genocide, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, and Mao’s genocide. Unfortunately, the party responsible for millions of deaths in China is still in power, having celebrated in December 2013 120 years since the birth of Mao Zedong, the man responsible for the death of millions, “arbitrary imprisonment, beatings, torture, rape, sustained harassment, seizure of property, deprivation of food and medical attention, and many other [indescribable] abuses” such as cannibalism.

According to Laogai Foundation’s Report, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution define Mao’s legacy of terror.

“Between 1958-1962, tens of millions of people starved to death as a result of the Great Leap Forward, an attempt by Mao to overtake Britain as an economic world power in less than 15 years. During the GLF, private farming was entirely prohibited and households all over China were forced into state-operated communes. Anyone who dared challenge the practice or store their own food was violently persecuted, with many beaten to death. The impact was catastrophic. An estimated 30 to 45 million died as a direct result of this man-made disaster. Almost all of them were peasants.” The party members who had access to the confiscated food were spared. The food shortage was so severe that people ate tree bark, mud, wild vegetables, grass, frogs, snakes, animal droppings, and each other. (Cannibalism in China, Laogai Research Foundation, October 2013)

According to the Laogai Research Foundation, witnesses who managed to flee labor camps in China were forced to return for lack of food. Inmates learned to catch frogs and snakes and cook them in the chamber pots. In Anhui province there were 1,289 documented cases of cannibalism from 1959-1961. (Shusheng Yin, “The Original Record of Special Cases in Anhui Province,” Yanhuang Chunqiu 10(2009): 62-63)

Wang Guanqun, head of the PSB of Yingshang County gave detailed account of 49 cannibalism cases. (Guanqun Wang, “The Special Cases I know in Yingshang County, Yanhuang Chunqiu 8(2013): 22-23.

Gansu Province General Office of the Communist Party Committee recorded 45 cases of cannibalism in Linxia, a city south of the capital city Lanzhou such as digging out corpses and boiling them, eating children after death, killing brother and eating him, chasing strangers in the street with scythe, and carving out bottoms and calves of the deceased.

Faced with massive cases of cannibalism, the Shandong Provincial Party Committee wrote a self-critical report that mentioned widespread starvation and cannibalism, admitting to 70 cases in Shandong Province between 1958-1960. In Laiyang County (1961) two men were found guilty of disinterring the recently buried, boiling the flesh, and selling it as beef for 5 Yuan per pound. They admitted to getting 15 pounds of flesh per corpse and that there were many on the black market doing the same thing.

Sichuan Province experienced most dead, 12 million people. In Xingjing County, 53 percent of the population died of starvation. Many witnesses testified about case after case of cannibalism. One individual, Yang Guoli was executed by firing squad for having killed children by luring them with buns and then boiling them for food.

Writer Zheng Yi detailed cases of cannibalism in Guangxi province in his book, Scarlet Memorial (1993). During the Cultural Revolution, “in some high schools, students killed their principals and then cooked and ate the bodies to celebrate a triumph over ‘counter-revolutionaries.’”

Zheng found a document, “Significant Events During the Cultural Revolution in Wuxuan County” which details that 75 people were killed and then their hearts and livers were extracted and eaten.  The cannibals received minor punishments such as expulsion from the party (91 members), suspension (39 non-party members) from administrative positions, demotion, or salary reduction. Nobody was criminally prosecuted.

The Laogai Research Foundation concluded in its 81 page report drawn from official records and published in October 2013, “Cannibalism in Communist China,” that the gruesome, widespread, and unspeakable acts of cannibalism during the Cultural Revolution were “motivated not by hunger nor by psychopathic illness but by an eagerness to prove one’s loyalty to the Party and Mao.”

The report explains why the Chinese Communist Party continues to “conceal historical records, distort facts, and suppress the spread of relevant information.” Allowing this information to go public would “impugn Mao Zedong’s legacy and threaten the very legitimacy and stability of the current regime.” The communist party calls the famine caused by government policy and left-wing ideology “the three years of natural disasters,” misrepresenting cannibalism as “cases of political deconstruction” and “special cases.”

The two manufactured disasters, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, destroyed basic moral principles of humanity in Chinese society, causing many cannibalism cases within families – “fathers ate sons, brothers ate sisters, and husbands ate wives.” They believe that more cases will come to light and more documents will be discovered when the Communist Party will “fail.”

Man’s inhumanity to man is hard to fathom, especially when it is driven by blind ideological hatred in service to tyranny.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sonny, the Yellow Lab, and Lucky, the Red Shouldered Hawk

Sonny, the yellow lab, and Lucky, the Red Shouldered Hawk’s lives crossed on a cold snowy day in Virginia when Sonny sensed something was terribly wrong with the beautiful raptor perched on the fence for hours.
Injured, with his wings clipped or possibly dragged by a car, the hawk could not fly away. He’s been sitting on his fence perch for hours, just moving his head, unperturbed by the dog’s furious and relentless barks. Sonny seldom barked so that drew the attention of his owner, Scott Lingamfelter, who sent his son Paul to check out the source of Sonny’s commotion.

Photo Credit: Scott Lingamfelter, March 23, 2014
Red Shouldered Hawks nest in deciduous woodlands with tall trees and a good source of water, near rivers and swamps. Hunters of mice, frogs, and snakes, their “kee-rah” whistle makes a distinctive sound in the forest. Their stick nests can be seen in the main crotch of a large tree. When migrating, the Red Shouldered hawks fly high overhead along ridges and the coast.

Scott Lingamfelter, Sonny’s owner, posted today an update on the fate of the Red Shouldered Hawk who had been picked up by the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia in Falls Church for evaluation and possible rehabilitation.

Kent Knowles of Raptor Conservancy of Virginia reported that the hawk is doing as well as it can be expected. He is “self-feeding and slowly regaining weight.” When the weather warms up, RCV will release some birds from flight cages, birds that have completed rehab, and are now ready to fly on their own in the wild. There will be room, and Sonny’s hawk, Lucky, will be moved into a flight cage.

After the hawk completes a successful molt in August, his condition will be reassessed. The wildlife caretakers are not sure Lucky will be able to complete a molt. Sonny’s hawk may need more recovery time since “most of his flight feathers on both wings were torn at the halfway point, and the raptor is considered non-flighted.”

Without Sonny’s “bark-a-thon” that cold December day, the dehydrated and hungry hawk would not be alive today. Scott Lingamfelter named the hawk Lucky. He did not have nine lives that day but Sonny’s canine instinct that alerted human help, gave him another chance at life. Nobody would have known the terrible condition the raptor was in.

 Sonny, the Yellow Lab hero
Photo credit: Scott Lingmafelter, March 23, 2014



Saturday, March 22, 2014

My take on Ukraine with Silvio Canto

I researched and read over 300 pages of articles and 3 Congressional Research Service reports on
Ukraine, Russia, and the EU expansion.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fatherhood Initiatives and Nanny Government

In the age when big government has displaced and replaced fathers, making traditional families obsolete by giving financial incentives in various forms of welfare to millions of out-of-wedlock mothers in head of household families, the idea of fatherhood programs and initiatives seems commendable.

According to the Pew Research Center, four in ten babies were born in 2008 to unwed women. Approximately 2.6 million households were led by single fathers in 2011, a sizeable increase when compared to fewer than 300,000 in 1960. Twenty-three percent of single-household families were father-only families and 77 percent were mother-only families.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which studied 27 industrialized countries found that 25.8 percent of children in the U.S. are raised by a single parent compared to 14.9 percent in other countries. Seventy-two percent of black children are raised in a single parent household.

The OECD reported public spending on child welfare and education in the U.S. to be $160,000, higher than the $149,000 expenditure in other countries, most spending occurring after the crucial early childhood years. The study indicated that “the United States is the only OECD country that does not have a national paid parental leave policy.” It is important to point out that all socialist countries have such a policy that is sometimes abused by parents who learn how to game the system.

According to the Census Bureau, 32% of the 35 million families with children under the age of 18 were run by one parent.

Because in 2013 twenty-five percent of children under 18 lived in households run by their mothers, the federal, state, and local governments partnered with public and private organizations to develop programs to help noncustodial fathers be financially and personally responsible for their children, boosting involvement in their children’s lives.

“Responsible fatherhood” programs are very important because research shows that children raised in single-parent families are “more likely to do poorly in school, have emotional and behavioral problems, become teenage parents, and have poverty level incomes.”

Federal funding for “responsible fatherhood” programs comes from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), TANF state Maintenance-of-Effort (MOE), Child Support Enforcement (CSE), and Social Services Block Grant (Title XX).

Fifty million dollars per year in competitive grants to states, territories, Indian tribes, public and non-profit groups were included in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 for responsible fatherhood initiatives (2006-2010)  

P.L. 111-291 (December 8, 2010) appropriated $75 million for healthy marriage promotion and $75 million for responsible fatherhood activities. Fatherhood programs promote the importance of “emotional, psychological, and financial connections of fathers to their children.” The fatherhood programs include “parenting education, responsible decision-making, mediation services for both parents, conflict resolution, coping with stress, problem solving skills, peer support, and job training activities such as skills development, interviewing skills, job search, job-retention skills, and job-advancement skills.”(Carmen Solomon-Fears, Specialist in Social Policy, January 28, 2014)

Child Support Enforcement (CSE) funds are used to promote access and visitation rights for fathers. Both single mothers on welfare and the biological father are more likely to have dropped out of school, have little work experience, and are likely unable to find and/or keep a job.

Representative Nancy Johnson said that these fathers are “dead broke,” not “dead beats” and the federal government “should help these noncustodial fathers meet their financial and emotional obligations to their children.” (House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, Hearing on Fatherhood Legislation, Statement of Chairman Nancy Johnson, 106th Congress, 1st session, October 5, 1999, p. 4)

President George W. Bush’s Executive Office wrote in a “Blueprint for New Beginnings – A Responsible Budget for America’s Priorities” (February 28, 2001 in Chapter 12, p. 75), “While fathers must fulfill their financial commitments, they must also fulfill their emotional commitments. Dads play indispensable roles that cannot be measured in dollars and cents: nurturer, mentor, disciplinarian, moral instructor, and skills coach, among other roles.”

To make matters worse, some noncustodial fathers are incarcerated and, upon release, must re-enter the lives of their children but do not have the skills to cope with such a monumental undertaking, further negatively affecting the fragility of the family that needs healthy relationship skills training.

Women’s groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Women’s Law Center expressed concern that:

-          Single-mother families  might be under-valued by the emphasis on the importance of the father.

-          Services for fathers would take away from services for mothers.

-          Fathers’ rights groups would get more leverage in child custody cases, child support, and visitation arrangements.

Solomon-Fears asks the following questions in a Congressional Research Service report:

1.      Is the federal government promoting and supporting the father’s involvement in their children’s lives regardless of the father’s relationship with the mother?

2.      What if the father has children by more than one woman?

3.      What about incarcerated parents or recently released from jail?

4.      Federal government support for counseling, education, and supervised visitation for abusive fathers who may or may not want to reconnect with their children? (RL31025, p. 13)

The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) system has improved its collection of child support payments during 1978-2011 from $1 billion to $27.3 billion, located more parents, discovered paternities, and established child support orders.

Proponents of the CSE program additionally approve of the “increased personal responsibility and welfare cost-avoidance.”

Critics of the CSE program enumerate the nanny state, “big brother” compliance venues such as withholding licensure (professional, driver’s, recreational), passport revocation, seizure of bank accounts, retirement funds, lottery winnings, and automatic withholding from pay checks. The CSE program  ”collects only 20 percent of child support obligations for which it has responsibility and only 57 percent of its caseload.”

CSE program is based exclusively on financial support, critics say, alienating low-income fathers from their children when they cannot meet their child support payments. Such a narrow view of fatherhood, specialists say, devalues fathers and robs them of the role as “nurturer, disciplinarian, mentor, and moral instructor.” On the other hand, it is hard to be a disciplinarian or moral instructor to your child when you lack the moral compass to begin with or are in jail.

Noncustodial fathers from welfare supported families complain that the CSE program does not help their children because child support payments are used for welfare reimbursements to the federal government and the state. Mothers use the CSE program as a threat to report fathers to the CSE authorities, to take them back to court, to have more wages garnished, and to have them arrested.

The 1996 welfare reform law stated that “marriage is the foundation of a successful society.” “Marriage is an essential institution of a successful society that promotes the interests of children. However, some child welfare advocates argue that marriage is not necessarily the best alternative for all women and their children,” especially when taking into account an abusive father. (CRS report, “Fatherhood Initiatives: Connecting Fathers to Their Children,” Carmen Solomon-Fears, p. 14)

Research found in 2011 that 72.11 percent of black births were to unmarried women and 29.1 percent of white births were to unmarried women. Based on this demographic, the researchers, Ronald B. Mincy and Chien-Chung Huang, from Bowling Green State University, thought it “racially insensitive” to devote five times as much money for marriage promotion as for responsible fatherhood promotion. Thus in 2011, P.L. 111-291 made the funding for responsible fatherhood grants equal to marriage promotion grants.

The federal government is trying to redress the disintegration of the American family, a problem it has created through generous welfare programs that have rewarded out-of-wedlock motherhood and replaced fathers. Many generations of welfare cases and a perennial poor underclass have been created, with no work ethic, no desire to succeed, no interest in education as a way out of poverty, and no personal responsibility.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Where Do We Find Money When We Are Broke?

Where do we find money to fund so much out-of-control spending when we are so broke, our national debt ($17.5 trillion) with unfunded liabilities ($128.3 trillion) exceeds $145.8 trillion? Where did the Democrats find almost $4 trillion to fund this year’s budget when Gross Domestic Product is $16.1 trillion and the total national assets are $112.1 trillion for almost 318 million Americans?

How did it happen that United States, a former power house of wealth and industry, now burdened by a national debt impossible to fathom and repay, can find money to send to Ukraine in order to protect its sovereignty but does not care about U.S. sovereignty?

How can Congress find money to send to every tin pot dictator in the world and to groups that are not just hostile to the U.S. but desire our demise, but reduces benefits, commissary access to affordable food, and Tricare health care premiums to our military? Did Congress not promise care and support for life to our military in exchange for their service often paid with their lives?

The government is citing “economic woes” in their explanation for military families’ budget cuts. Should we not slash financial aid to Mexico, Pakistan, or other nations that “undermine U.S. sovereignty?”

Why do minimum wage earners, less than 2 million in the whole country, deserve over $10 an hour for low-skill jobs while our military in the trenches earn less for dangerous jobs yet they don’t complain so vociferously and publicly?

How can we justify cutting down our military so drastically at a time when the world is arming around us, rattling its swords, while China is increasing its military budget by 12 percent?

How can we find money to destroy our excellent educational system and replace it with yet another half-baked experiment in socialism called Common Core Standards?

How can our government tax the middle class to death, including poor American students who are struggling to pay bills, while finding $4.2 billion annually to give to illegal aliens in earned income tax credit for children who are not American citizens and do not even live in the U.S.?

How can we destroy our medical insurance system for 85 percent of Americans who were satisfied with it, in order to pay for the 14.8 percent who did not have medical insurance in 2008, in the name of social justice? How can Democrats spin the latest Gallup poll that showed that 17.1 percent of Americans did not have health insurance in 2013, compared to 15.9 percent so far in 2014?

How is it fair to give illegal aliens Affordable Care Act medical care (it is affordable for them since it’s free) while charging those who had good insurance plans higher premiums, higher deductibles, higher co-pays and offering them less care and less access to doctors?

How is it possible to claim that we are in a recovery when millions are out of work, millions on food stamps, and the labor force participation is one of the lowest since 1978?

How is it possible to find money for Planned Parenthood to kill babies, but we must cut medical services to the elderly, the very young, and the handicapped?

How did we find hundreds of millions of dollars to waste on the computer program that was supposed to run ObamaCare smoothly yet it is a monumental failure?

How did we find money to fund infrastructure in other countries and “nation building” but our own infrastructure is in disrepair in spite of the billions of dollars spent on economic stimuli?

When did $300 million become a rounding error in the Democrat-controlled budget of almost $4 trillion?

How does it happen that U.S. never runs out of money for welfare? There are so many legal and illegal beneficiaries that choose welfare over work because it is more lucrative.

How did Congress find money to give itself a raise and subsidize 75 percent of the ObamaCare premiums for itself and staff under the excuse that someone who makes a six-figure salary cannot afford the premiums?

How can we afford to buy ammo to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars for federal agencies, including the post office, and why?

How can we afford to buy war-like urban assault vehicles and drones for small and large towns’ police departments in the nation and why?  Should we not fill the pot holes first and secure crumbling bridges? Why are we no longer building roads?

How did we find so many billions to fund renewable energy projects such as solar and wind when they have gone bankrupt one after another, killed and fried birds, including the bald eagle, and generated so little electricity for such a high cost per kWh?

Why do we fund billions of dollars to support the global warming hoax when thousands of real scientists have come out to say that there is no such thing as “settled science” and “consensus,” it is just a convenient and profitable political tool to assert power and control?

Why did we kill NASA’s Space Shuttle program  but we have money to fund studies that investigate the color of the feathers of the first bird on Earth (black), to develop a video game that “depicts a female superhero sent to save planet Earth from climate changes allegedly caused by social issues that affect women,”  to fund a study that found “unintelligent robots do not have the ability to maintain a baby’s attention,” or allow “117,000 Americans to double-dip into Social Security disability insurance and the federal unemployment insurance program to the tune of $850 million?”

What is going to happen when the U.S. national debt we owe collectively for the out-of-control spending now will come due later? If we cannot pay it back to our creditors, are we going to lose our national assets? Are we escalating our nation’s wellbeing to a point of no return, the fundamental transformation we were promised?



Butler on Business, March 12, 2014 Senate Fillibuster on global warming, Malaysian flight, HOAs.

I come on at the 43 minute mark.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Butler on Business, March 5, 2014, Agenda 21, Ukraine

I come on at the 43 min. mark.

Home Owner Associations Attacking More Property Rights

I wrote last week about the assault on property rights by the comprehensive land use plans currently being developed around the nation, with identical goals and terms based on environmental protection, land preservation, conservation easements, and other elements found in Agenda 21, a document signed by 179 countries in 1992.

Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and Condo Associations are also coming after your property rights. While you acquiesced to certain terms in a Deed of Declaration when you moved into a certain subdivision, you did not envision the power that HOAs would try to gain over the use of your home, the property surrounding it, or your condo.

Virginia lawmakers are currently under fire for House Bill 791 that, they say, “Curbs powers of homeowners associations.” Those who reject the bill say that it does “the exact opposite and could even lead to homeowners losing their electricity for infractions.”

Sen. Chap Peterson (D-Fairfax) told that “Somewhere George Orwell is rolling over in his grave. What we’re doing here is saying that a homeowner association, even if it doesn’t have power stated in [its] charter, will be allowed to exercise additional powers.” Peterson, an attorney, said that the fine print of the bill allows HOAs to fine homeowners $50 per day for simple things such as leaving out toys or hanging Christmas lights.

Sen. Chap Peterson said that HB 791, passed by the Senate 31-9, would overturn the “traditional Virginia law stating that HOAs only held that power conferred by their authorizing document, i.e. the Deed of Declaration.” This limitation is almost gone, replaced by HOA Boards and Condo Boards that can levy fines and penalties against homeowners even if that power is not stated in the original documents. “These boards now have the power which is not even held by City Councils or County Boards, i.e. the power to assess and collect fines (and assert a lien against property) even without a court order.”

Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R-Chantilly), the co-sponsor of the alleged HOA-friendly bill, said in a letter sent to a constituent that “The origin of the bill is a conversation with a woman I met knocking on doors last fall.  She is in her 60s and wants to retire with the equity in her town home. Unfortunately some neighbors have left their town homes in disrepair, reducing the value of her home – and trampling on her property rights – by tens of thousands of dollars. And her HOA is virtually powerless to do anything about it because of the conflicting court cases.”

Democrats and Republicans in northern Virginia are objecting to HB 791, “a bill giving draconian extra-legal powers to homeowner associations.” Critics call it “an end-run around property rights.

If this bill passes, HOAs have the right to “suspend a unit owner’s right to use facilities or services… for nonpayment of assessments” and to “assess charges against any unit owner for any violation” or regulations committed by their visitors, unless expressly prohibited by written contract.

Anybody who owns a home in an HOA-controlled subdivision can understand the frustration with the Board of Directors who is often composed of power hungry volunteers who like to control other people’s lives in an asinine manner.  HOA power grab goes beyond the directive to keep grass mowed and property in decent repair.

HOAs tell owners when to power-wash driveways, decks, fences, paint, cut down trees because of squirrels, replace dull sconces, change the color scheme of the mail boxes each year, which side of the house to install TV antennas on, whether you can have a deck, a patio, pending their approval of the builder’s plan, a storage shed, a vegetable garden, a flower garden, fly the American flag, have Christmas or Easter decorations, etc. The HOA directives can be hundreds of pages long.

My friend’s HOA has made her life a living hell. She was told to replace her expensive fence although two contractors said that it did not need replacing and it was in much better condition than most fences in the community. They backed down. One of her neighbors was fined $900 for not switching a sconce and post lamplight from brass to “shiny” brass. Another neighbor did not finish on time his forced staining of his deck, resulting in a fine that continued to add up. Some homeowners were fined because the mail boxes were not identical. And the list of “infractions” seems endless. The residents who complain about the abuse of power are treated extra rudely, unfairly, with disdain, and prejudice.

If HB 791 passes in Virginia, instead of curbing the out-of-control power of HOAs and Condo Boards, it will give them almost unlimited power over private property, homes, and condos.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Private Property Rights Under Attack By Comprehensive Land Use Plans

Humans have always desired to own a piece of land that could be passed on to their heirs. Once they acquired property for homestead or farming, men labored on their land under the assumption that it was theirs to keep in perpetuity.

If you ask the government, land belongs to the proprietor as long as the required taxes are paid in full each year and the government does not confiscate the property through eminent domain or deem it environmentally endangered and in need of protection. If you ask progressives, land belongs equally to everyone and nobody should be allowed to “own” anything, it should be communal property.

The painful lesson in communal property (communism) at Jamestown has been forgotten or never learned. When people worked the land together, some worked harder and some were lazier, yet everyone ate the same. The entire settlement almost starved to death. The following year, when the communal property was divided into individual parcels, everyone prospered.

Humans understood then that individual freedom and cooperation on smaller scale are much more successful than domination by a few in an exclusively government-run society.

The idea of Sustainable Development that emerged in 1987 from a conference by the World Commission on Environment and Development, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, seemed innocuous. It was defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It sounded lofty except for the nagging questions: who decides what the needs are, how are they going to parcel out the needs, how are they going to implement them, and who will police the decision-makers?

This call to Sustainable Development became the blueprint of a myriad of rules and regulations incorporated in the 1992 document called Agenda 21 signed by 179 nations at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. This 40-chapter document addresses every aspect of human life, not the least of which is property.

According to Henry Lamb, Bill Clinton’s creation of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (Executive Order #12852, June 29, 1993) “was responsible for instilling sustainable development consciousness throughout every agency of the federal government,” using enormous grant powers. These “vision” and “challenge” grants were given to state and local governments, to NGOs such as the American Planning Association, Sierra Club, and to HUD, DOE, and EPA to develop and implement community plans around the nation.

County-wide or region-wide plans by the years 2020, 2025, or 2030, contain 129 “visions” included in eight categories. These visions were developed at the first Glades County, Florida visioning meeting in February 2, 2006.  They are eerily similar to the recommendations in the Agenda 21 document and in any sustainable development pamphlets. (Henry Lamb, Sustainable Development or Sustainable Freedom? pp. 5-6)

-          Preserve natural environment

-          Save/improve the wetlands

-          Restrict development in sensitive areas

-          Sustainable agriculture and farming

-          Comprehensive resource preservation

-          Never compromise wetlands or wildlife

-          Preservation of scenic views

-          Designation of scenic highways

-          Development should be clustered

-          Rural village concept

-          Smart growth planned developments

-          Increase density, increase walkability

-          Impact fees that limit mobile homes

-          Zoning should encourage infill

-          More codes to be enforced

-          Conservation easements on agricultural land

-          Sidewalks, bike paths, and walking paths

-          Multi-use trails and corridors that are landscaped

Villages, towns, and cities developed as the result of the wishes of the people in a free market. Then local zoning ordinances were developed based on existing land use, initiated by the land owners who, from time to time changed the zoning designations. Such changes were only made by locally elected officials, balancing the wishes of the landowners with the rights of other constituents.

The “comprehensive planning” required by sustainable development in Agenda 21 is initiated by a coalition of international organizations such as ICLEI (International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives) who decide in their “visioning consensus” how and where everyone should live.

ICLEI infiltrated over 600 county and local governments in the U.S. who became members of this organization that recently changed its name to ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA to avoid the stigma of an international organization meddling in American zoning affairs.

The top-down unelected government develops comprehensive master plans that form “urban boundary zones.” Municipal services such as water, sewer, fire, and police protection are not provided beyond these zones. The comprehensive master plan serves the purpose to create “sustainable communities,” the vision of the globalists who created Agenda 21.

It is not a coincidence that “every county’s comprehensive master plan contains the same elements, the same goals, the same processes,” spelled out in Agenda 21. Citizens participate in local visioning meetings and consensus-building stakeholder meetings under the false promise and understanding that they do have input in their communities. In reality, the decisions have been made for them in advance.

Henry Lamb said, “Such comprehensive land use plans adopted by government gives the government, not the owner, the superior right to decide how the land may be used.” Elected officials were convinced by “the promoters of sustainable development that private property rights are not as important as the proposed benefits of sustainable development, individual freedom is not as important.” (p. 23)

The first lawsuit filed on October 15, 2013 against Agenda 21 promoters is the lawsuit against the comprehensive plan called Plan Bay Area. The legal challenge was launched by the Post Sustainability Institute/Democrats Against UN Agenda 21 and Freedom Advocates, spearheaded by Michael Shaw and Rosa Koire.

Alleged violations include:

-          Plan Bay Area violates voter-approved urban growth boundary ordinances, “nullifying these boundaries by restricting development to very small locations in just some cities”

-          Plan Bay Area “violates the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by taking property rights without just compensation”

-          Plan Bay Area “violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause” (Priority Development Areas land owners will receive permits 80 times more than owners outside of the PDA)

-          Plan Bay Area “permanently strips all development rights from rural properties in the nine county Bay Area, effectively taking conservation easements on all rural lands without paying for them”

-          Plan Bay Area “restricts development rights within the Priority Development Areas,” limiting construction to mixed-use, high density Smart Growth development.
“Plan Maryland” is a statewide blueprint of land use that maintains 400,000 acres as agricultural or forest land and spares it from development in the next 20 years. Governor O’Malley’s executive order allows development only in “approved” growth areas along the Baltimore-Washington corridor. Homes on two-acre plots with septic system were deemed urban sprawl. Homes built within city limits on half-acre plots in range of sewer hookups were not deemed urban sprawl. I discussed this comprehensive land use plan in my best seller book, U.N. Agenda 21: Environmental Piracy.

The comprehensive plan for Baldwin County, Alabama, called Horizon 2025, was rejected by the Baldwin County Commission as a “massive land grab.” Additionally, Gov. Robert Bentley signed a law forbidding policies connected to Agenda 21, barring any private property confiscation without due process. This decision drew strong criticism from the Smart Growth proponents who used psychological “projection” to paint Americans who are discovering the truth about Agenda 21 as right-wingers who see “smart” environmental planning as an “Agenda of Fear.”

In the fishing community of King Cove Alaska, an 11-mile gravel trail connecting the Aleut community to a life-saving airport has been denied by the Department of Interior Secretary Jewell because the road would jeopardize the waterfowl. “The people of King Cove want a small road through what was their backyard,” using less than 1 percent of the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.  But giving up refuge land would be a bad precedent. “I’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals,” said Sec. Jewell.

Residents of Riverton, Wyoming (pop. 10,000) found out in horror one day that the EPA had given their town to an Indian reservation. Their deeds of trust could be tossed unless the Indian reservation recognized them. The EPA declared Riverton part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, nullifying a 1905 law passed by Congress.

A WWII veteran in New York is fighting local government attempts to confiscate his grocery store via eminent domain in order to open a municipality-owned market.

Some local governments confiscated land under eminent domain in order to preserve it. Most famous is the seizure of 572 acres in Telluride. The owner wanted to develop the land along the San Miguel River. The town set the land aside as open space. The confiscation by the state Supreme Court was upheld on grounds that overcrowded mountain towns need to preserve their recreational and natural assets.

Andy and Ceil Barrie may lose 10 acres near Breckenridge, Colorado because they ride an ATV on a 1.2-mile mining road from their 3-bedroom home in a subdivision to the 10 acres they purchased surrounding a hundred year old cabin in the middle of the White River National Forest. Summit County is using eminent domain to preserve open space instead of the usual economic development. (Becket Adams)

In 2012 the EPA threatened Lois Alt, a chicken farmer from West Virginia, with $37,500 fine every time it rained on or near her property. The fine, mandated under the Clean Water Act, was levied because “storm water near her farm would come in contact with dust, feathers, and manure before entering a local waterway.” High levels of nitrogen were found in the chicken waste which could also threaten the water supply.

Property rights can be taken away under the guise of protecting the environment. American Policy Center identified cases of such abuse.

-          Mud puddles become wetlands that must be protected

-          Improving land by planting trees, bushes, filling a ditch with dirt, or building a fence can result in arrest and fine of the property owner under the Clean Water Act

-          Building on one’s land can be blocked

-          If the area is deemed wetland, the owner can no longer use it or sell it

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bill, the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2013 (S 890), which would attempt to reign in the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service, agencies of our federal government that infringe on Americans’ private property. The bill is in the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

In Virginia, the House passed SB 578 on February 26, 2014. The Senate bill, sponsored by Senator Obenshain, had already passed unanimously, entitling landowners to compensatory damages and reasonable attorney fees when successfully challenging a local land use decision based on an “unconstitutional condition.”

“When property owners run up against City Hall, it doesn’t always seem like a fair fight,” said Obenshain. “No matter what the merits of a property rights challenge, any property owner at odds with local government feels like David taking on Goliath.”

Once the governor signs it, SB 578 will discourage localities from abusing their authority by imposing unconstitutional restrictions on the property owner’s ability to use his/her land.

Private property must be guarded as priceless freedom.  Land owners should reject the sustainable development idea that only government can protect nature, air, soil, water, open spaces, and the poor. All societies run by totalitarian governments have severe environmental degradation, little or no private property and misuse of resources, a chasm between the haves and have-nots, and no hope for the future of individual citizens.