Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The title of this post refers to affirmative disclosure, which very simply means proactively releasing information. In other words, it means that government agencies put important information out there for citizens to see, without the citizens being forced to ask for it or file a Freedom of Information Act request. Wouldn't it be nice to have real transparency, rather than rhetorical transparency?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
North Carolina's 2010-2011 budget disaster.
Brian Balfour of the LincolnTribune.com highlights some of the most ridiculous and insulting components of the new North Carolina budget, and it ain't pretty.
- Total Spending Up Again, Contingency Plan in Place for Federal Funds Not Yet Approved
- Ineffective Attempt at Small Business Relief
- Lawmakers Pile on More Unauthorized Debt
- Setting the Stage for an Even Worse Crisis in 2011-12
Right now there is a projected budget shortfall of about $3 billion and the NC legislature voted to increase spending by 4.8 percent, almost a billion dollars. The budget also adds over 800 new full-time employees to the state payroll, which of course will include their salaries, benefits, and pensions. They are also making a grave mistake by using one-time federal stimulus dollars and not yet existent federal Medicaid dollars to backfill parts of the budget. As if this is not bad enough, their "contingency" budget, in the event the federal funds don't come through, has not been approved yet and relies on even sketchier transfers and gimmicks.
The legislature threw in some almost meaningless tax cuts for small businesses but it's apparently so narrowly focused that the consensus in the business world, a.k.a. the real world, is that it will do little to inspire confidence in business owners to grow their businesses. They also not only increased NC's debt, ignoring the State Treasurer's recommendations, but also raised it without going to the voters even though the state Constitution requires new debt to be approved by the voters.
NC politicians should be ashamed of themselves for acting so irresponsibly with taxpayers' money. They were hired to do a very simple job and they again have turned it into a bloated mess that threatens the economic survival of the people and business owners of North Carolina. Not only did they maliciously neglect their responsibilities to taxpayers, they kicked the can down the road and have succeeded in assuring that next year's budget crisis will be even worse. Unfortunately, North Carolina is not alone in their downward spiral, as other state legislatures and Governors are employing the same gimmicks and tricks for the same reasons: they are spineless cowards.
Note to North Carolina voters: it's time for change. This is a good place to start.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The Racist Hypocrisy of the NAACP
By Jennifer Burke
Racism has been a thread in the fabric of our nation for many years; a thread that the Democrat party has had a heavy hand in weaving. From the formation of the KKK to the Jim Crow laws to the modern day enslavement of the black community in the form of welfare programs, the Democrats have had an undeniable hand in the way of racist policies that continue to be at the heart of destruction of the American dream and all that it stands for. Yet, rather than owning up to the reality of the outcome of their objectives, they have chosen instead to practice “revisionist history” in rewriting the reality of their legacy rooted in racism and, instead, labeling the Republican Party as the party full of racists.
If you look at the ethnic breakdown of those who claim one party over another, you can see that the Democrats have done a great job in the art of revisionist history. The black community tends to overwhelming vote Democrat. Delving into the negative impact the party’s policies have had on the black community, one has to wonder why. In my own humble opinion, the answer to this question lies squarely in one name: John F. Kennedy, Jr.
It comes as a surprise to some since I possess such strong conservative principles and proudly state that I am a Conservative Republican, but I also happen to be one who is a black woman. Although I am a native of Texas, I spent a lot of time in a small town in Louisiana when our family visited my grandfather, great aunt, and great uncle. I distinctly remember not only in their households but in my own, pictures of JFK on the wall or sitting on the mantle. The singular act of his introduction of the Civil Rights Act obviously created a strong allegiance of the black community to the Democrat party. When Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, he went down in history as a martyr for the cause of equal rights and opportunity for all. What the minority communities of today have lost sight of, due again to revisionist history, are the racist statements and traditions that have followed.
What blacks today need to realize and accept is that these are not your father’s Democrats (and frankly, those weren’t so great either with the racist policies inherent within them that I mentioned previously). Let’s not forget, it was Democrat Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia, former Kleagle/Recruiter in the Ku Klux Klan considered disturbingly as “the conscience of the Senate”, who filibustered the Civil Rights legislation. We have been made to believe by Bill Clinton, ridiculously referred to by some as the first black President, that Byrd only joined the Klan to get elected. But, let’s not forget Byrd’s membership in and recruitment for the KKK was during a time when lynchings of blacks were prevalent and the police largely looked the other way. Upon JFK’s death, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. He is reported to have said regarding this bill and its policies, “I’ll have them n*g**rs voting Democrat for the next 200 years.” How prophetic and true those words have unfortunately come to be.
In gaining an understanding of the disconnect between which party’s policies are detrimental and downright destructive, one only has to look at the practice of revisionist history of Democrats and its entourage; the mainstream media and front groups such as the formerly esteemed NAACP.
With real racism in our midst at multiple levels and against various ethnic groups, it is shameful that the NAACP has found it suitable to cry racism against the Tea Party. What are they guilty of? Possessing a basic belief in and support of the very backbone of what has made this nation a beacon so bright that many around the world have longed to be a part of it: limited government, individual responsibility, free markets, and the Constitution.
On July 13, 2010, the NAACP voted in favor of a resolution denouncing the Tea Party as racist. In the words of the NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, "We take no issue with the Tea Party movement. We believe in freedom of assembly and people raising their voices in a democracy. What we take issue with is the Tea Party's continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements.” Jealous went on to accuse the tea party of bigotry, homophobia and anti-Semitism calling for leaders to denounce such statements by its members.
Their evidence? Unsubstantiated claims of racist epithets being supposedly hurled at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.),at a Tea Party protest following the vote on the unconstitutional health care bill. Unsubstantiated claims of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) being spit upon at the same rally. Unsubstantiated claims of Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) being met with anti-gay chants at the same rally.
Andrew Breitbart, founder of biggovernment.com and bighollywood.com, offered a $100,000 reward for video or audio evidence to substantiate these claims. To this day, despite heavy press coverage, no evidence has been produced. In fact, each of these claims continues to be spoken of as truth despite clear evidence to prove it. I guess, in spite of the rule of law legal system which the NAACP typically rails against as unfair to black criminals, when it comes to Tea Party members, they are guilty until proven innocent.
What astounds me even more about this false accusation and cry of racism, anti-Semitism, and bigotry against the Tea Party movement by the NAACP is the fact that the NAACP has had not one, but two, of the biggest racist, anti-American, and anti-Semites on this earth as speakers at their conferences. Jeremiah Wright, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, the Black Liberation Theology church that the Obama’s attended for over 20 years, was their keynote speaker at a conference in 2008. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the racist, anti-Semitic, anti-American group Nation of Islam, was a speaker in 1997.
Just recently, a video surfaced of a staff member of the Dept. of Agriculture, Shirley Sherrod, speaking at an NAACP group, where she openly admits that she injected race into her position by choosing not to assist a white farmer facing bankruptcy and the loss of his farm as much as she could have. Instead, she took him to a lawyer, “one of his own kind” so that he would at least have something good to say about her. Ms. Sherrod went on to say that she realized it wasn’t all about race, but class warfare in the haves vs. the have nots (as if that is any better). The fact that the NAACP flip-flopped on its original position denouncing her racist statement to then supporting her shows an extreme lack of judgment, ethics, and principles in opposition to racism. It also indicates a disturbing perspective on the part of the organization and its members rooted in a belief system that it is okay to pit Americans against each other. [**]
Despite the NAACP now saying that Ms. Sherrod’s story was taken out of context and that the white farmer’s farm was indeed saved, the fact is, she did infuse race into the equation of her job which should be one that is color-blind. Even more telling is the reaction of members of the NAACP in the audience. The clapping and cheering for her actions is evidence that there is something very wrong with a group who claims to be for equal rights having a history of speakers, and members who applaud them, who stand for exactly the opposite.
For an organization that has attacked as racist a grassroots organization of Americans who simply believe that their freedoms and the Constitution are being trampled upon to have individuals who spew vile, racist statements and obviously believe that racism is okay if it is projected onto individuals who happen to be white is beyond hypocritical. It is shameless.
Racism, counter to what the NAACP would have you believe, is a two way street. The definition according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”. The supposed evidence of their accusation of racism against the Tea Party movement does not remotely adhere to the definition of what racism truly is. The reality is the cry of racism has been a long standing tactic to silence opposition by shame and denigration.
I am a proud Tea Party member who happens to be a black woman. Unlike Hilary Shelton, Senior Vice President for Advocacy for the NAACP who was recently caught on tape lying about his alleged Tea Party experience, I have both attended and spoken at Tea Party rallies. Never once have I felt afraid. Never once have I witnessed pervasive racism. Never once have I heard speakers use language that was racially divisive. I, as my fellow black Conservative tea party participants can also attest, have simply seen a group of people who believe that the integrity of our nation and the foundation upon which it was built is under attack by far left Progressives who have infiltrated the Democrat party and changed the landscape of their agenda for the worse.
I believe in the foundation of this country; the Constitution. I believe that we are a nation based on rule of law, not that of feelings. I believe that we have the right to pursue happiness, but that happiness is not guaranteed. I am for individual liberties, limited government, and real “hope” that lies at its very core in the notion that we all, despite our color or upbringing, can rise up to achieve what we dare to dream and, even more importantly, what we dare to work towards.
Neither I nor my fellow tea party members will be silenced for we believe that the very core of our nation is being attacked and dismantled. The cry against the movement as racist simply serves as an indicator of the power of its existence and the fear it has instilled in Progressives and their organizations. This fear takes root in the fact that we who believe in the foundation upon which this country was built are willing to stand up and fight for it. As one of the rallying cries of the movement that has come to fruition says…..We are not racist. We are not violent. We are just no longer silent!
**Note: follow some of the more recent coverage of the Shirley Sherrod incident here.