Rick Santelli’s “Rant” Inspires Nationwide Tea Party Movement

As reported last Thursday the 19th, CNBC Reporter, Rick Santelli expressed the growing frustration of many Americans and announced he was going to hold a tea party on July 4th in Chicago.

No one is doubting Santelli’s passion, but his ability to carry out the excellent notion of sending a clear signal to Pres. Obama and Congress that it is wrong for Americans who work hard and play by the rules to bail out businesses and citizens who have failed to make good decisions.

Santelli’s ability to move forward with an actual tea party are in doubt for the obvious reason that he is employed by what has become the most liberal set of news networks in the country. While CNBC is arguably the least propaganda-spewing network of the NBC family, it is still NBC. It’s important to remember that NBC is owned by GE, which couldn’t be more in the tank for the Lefist agenda, and has its tentacles into far too many places.

Unfortunately, we cannot wait for the bold Rick Santelli to make a move. A group of organizations have decided to move forward with a tea party, right away, in Santelli’s honor. American Spectator magazine, TCOT, Smart Girl Politics, Heartland Institute, Don’t Go, and Americans for Tax Reform are sponsoring the Nationwide Chicago Tea Party this Friday, February 27, 2009 at Noon central time.

The two primary events are to be held in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Other cities are getting organized across the country. All events will be held at NOON EST.  A simultaneous Twitter Tweet Chat, connected to all of the events will be conducted for people who are not located near an event or who cannot attend a physical location.

The website, listing more information, continually updated list of locations, and comments section:

Nationwide Chicago Tea Party

Be sure to click on the blue link entitled “Online Form” to see list of cities and to make comments.

You can also join the Twitter Tea Party group.


CNBC Reporter Says It Like It Is From Chicago Trading Floor

To quote an Obama supporter last week in Florida, “Good Gracious God!”

There is intelligent life on this planet, in America, intelligent life standing in front of a TV camera, and saints preserve us, on CNBC.

It’s a big, red headline on Drudge:

Drudge Report Front Page as of 11:45AM EST

Drudge Report Front Page as of 11:45AM EST

It’ll be interesting to see how long THAT headline stays just like that on Drudge’s front page. The screenshot of the CNBC video, below, is the video in progress. There’s an :11 commercial that runs prior to the video itself playing. See if you notice the irony in the advertised upcoming special listed to the right of the video box, whatever the commercial, and the video itself. I’ve run it a few times and it’s laughable, the incongruity of what Rick Santelli is saying versus whatever commercial. Just one of them was “American Greed”.

The video below is a screenshot. CNBC disables embedding. Just click on the picture to go watch it….it’s a GREAT time:


BLOGGERS: “Gird Your Loins” and Guard Your Data. Change.gov Scrubbing is a Red Flag

The Washington Timesstory yesterday regarding how the Change.gov website was “scrubbed” sometime over the weekend is a red flag to all those who wish to see truth preserved.

The Times reported that the Obama agenda previously listed there, largely copied over from the Obama campaign site, has been replaced with vague statements.

As many bloggers, and even some reporters know; this is not the first time information has evaporated from the internet regarding Barack Obama. In fact, the scrubbing of unflattering and questionable data intensified in the last months of the campaign. Any question regarding whether this practice would be routine during an Obama Presidency, have now been answered.

Bloggers need to be cognizant of this fact and act accordingly since there are few news outlets who will not plead amnesia in the future should an issue arise referencing documented information that has disappeared.

Further, it’s obvious that President-elect Barack Obama’s penchant for saying, “I’ve consistently said….” or “this has always been my position…” or “I’ve always said….” or “I have said so repeatedly….” would be a lot easier to back up if there is no proof of prior statements or contrary information available.

The Obama campaign, transition team staff, and coming administration have had a great deal of help in “protecting” information. Besides things disappearing off the ‘net, there have been things that have “disappeared”, difficult to access, withheld, or even altered in the “terrestrial” world. There are several incidents of which bloggers are likely aware that include the removal of the “Obama Youth” video from Youtube which was only re-posted because some shrewd blogger had permanently downloaded it and put it back up on the site. Besides that video on Youtube, there have been reports of disappearing Jeremiah Wright videos and NBC’s aggressively monitoring and immediately demanding videos including any NBC footage be pulled, such as Barney Frank’s appearance on CNBC in July of this year when he stated that Fannie Mae was a sound investment. This video was the basis for the Bill O’Reilly ambush of Frank in October.

Besides the video pulls, there are a number of people who were disturbed by a trend on the Real Clear Politics site, wherein negative Obama reader articles would mysteriously disappear and the user accounts deleted. It’s unclear at this date whether that issue was ever resolved. All inquiries to the webmaster, even by prominent blogger Roger Gardner of Radarsite, went unanswered.

There are some scrubbing incidents which I personally discovered in the last six to eight weeks of the campaign, primarily involving ACORN. On October 10, I had a post regarding Barack Obama having been a member of the legal team that sued Citibank in Chicago for allegedly “red-lining“. I assert that this is yet another Obama connection to ACORN. The two plaintiffs were likely referred to Obama’s firm by that group. These kinds of suits, which bullied banks to grant unprofitable and non-viable mortgages to people in areas with historically high rates of default, contributed to the “Sub-prime mortgage meltdown”. Citibank ultimately settled that suit.

In researching ACORN, I found a site called Tax Exempt World, where a large amount of data on tax exempt entities is available to the public. Some of the information is available for free, some for a fee. On October 9 amd 10, when I was doing this research, I pulled up an ACORN detail page on Tax Exempt World, using this link:

Trouble is, the page didn’t look exactly like it does now. There was further detail below the the Google ads, stating where ACORN’s funds were held, which was an account in the British Virgin Islands. Below is an image I prepared showing where the information existed on the page as of October 10, but disappeared within about a week, when I went back to look more carefully:

Certainly it’s easy to make an assertion like I’ve just done without any back up. Besides the fact that I had no real reason for doing so, I referenced the fact in my article, intending to go back and do further research:

“Further, the tax-exempt database I linked for the ACORN address above displays that ACORN keeps its money in an offshore bank account in the Virgin Islands, which I find just plain odd.”

Perhaps the Tax Exempt site had a glitch and was displaying information that was meant for the paid part of their service only. Of course that is a possibility, but considering that it was not the only web page that disappeared, was scrubbed, or was significantly edited that I used when researching for my post, I find it awfully suspicious.

It doesn’t look like I linked to the ACORN home page within the article, but I quoted from it. Several days later, when I went back to do some more research on their site, I kept getting the following result:

This went on for several days, and then mysteriously, the site reappeared and had clearly been scrubbed and edited. The edits included a rabid defense of the organization. In visiting the site today, one can find the full-fledged effort continues the self-defense measures. Today’s front page has a big button featured entitled “Fight Back: The Truth About ACORN”.

Perhaps this disappearance and re-emergence of a site is just another coincidence, but I don’t think so.

More recently, I was researching the issue of Barack Obama’s connection to Sal Alinksy’s theories and the book Rules for Radicals. I discovered the following page:

This was apparently from an online version of the book After Alinksy: Community Organizing in Illinois, which had been published by the University of Illinois at Springfield. Obama had written an essay entitled “Why Organize? Problems and Progress in the Inner City” at an earlier time. This essay was later included as a chapter in After Alinksy. Some enterprising person had the foresight to apparently copy the page source code and loaded the page back up to the web. It’s a good thing, because if one clicks on the link “The Complete book After Alinksy home page” on the above page, this is what comes up:

Since all of the other links on the reloaded page are connected to the University’s site and those work, it is hard to believe that this, too is another coincidence or something created out of whole cloth. One thing is definitely true, the book does exist. The ISBN number is valid. The book is listed for sale on Amazon, although it is obviously in very short supply; the current price is $150+.

Some may ask, “what’s the big deal about the removal of the book from the University site”? In some respects, it’s not that big of a deal. While the article may make my skin crawl because I understand the subtext and it’s implications, it is not particularly radical, per se. But apparently someone was bothered by the notion that the information existed on the University’s site. It would not be flattering to have any clear connections between Alinksy doctrine and Barack Obama. Despite many radical leftist’s denials, Alinksy is nothing but a Marxist radical, his tactics were not “peaceful” as some leftist pinheads on TV have said or many radical “community organizing groups” worshipping at Alinksy’s feet state in their “About Us” pages. His goal was revolution of American society; revolution to a Marxist state.

Despite the obvious implications of Obama granting permission to include his essay in a book about Alinksy, his other connections to the Alinksy philosophy, and what all of it means for an Obama, there is something more bothersome about the information being pulled off the Univeristy site.

It’s the Orwellian aspect of it all, of course. How can history be so easily re-written in what is supposed to be an open society? Who is doing all of this scrubbing, editing, and pulling? One could obviously make suppositions all day long about how the University of Illinois fits into all of this, considering the many tentacles of connections to Barack Obama there. At the very least, there are apparently a lot of people and organizations in our country who are very protective of President-elect Obama and whose ethics are questionable, to say the least.

Regardless of who is “scrubbing”, editing, and pulling, and why, the moral of the story is obvious: bloggers and others doing research need to protect the information they discover and they need to do so NOW. How many among us have had fleeting thoughts of going back over links, etc., discovered throughout the election, and doing something about downloading or taking a screenshot, but have as of yet to do so? I know for a while now, I’ve been intermittently capturing and downloading, but I haven’t done it consistently or gone back over things I’d found in the past.

It seems important going forward that we all adopt these practices as a normal part of the way we do things.

In pondering the best ways to preserve information, I recall the controversy that occurred over the ages of the members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics team. I recall a blog post by an author who is also an investigator. He employed the use of a cache search and turned up a Chinese government report that revealed discrepancies about the girls’ ages. The government had pulled the report off the net, leaving its discovery open only to those skilled in cache searches.

Certainly there are many others out there much savvier than myself. I’ve got some learning to do about this; I briefly tried this out on some of the links for pages I mentioned having disappeared, but clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, or they are just gone. For those who might be reading this who are good at cache searching, I would ask you to leave comments to instruct the rest of us how it is best done.

For now, I can share what I’m going to be looking at myself:

Google Guide about Cached Pages
(the Google guide itself, which I’ve not “stumbled upon” before looks like it might have some handy information to generally improve searching techniques)

Search Engine Showdown
Includes a listing of many free services that archive pages from the web. Google is there, of course, but many others that may include information that Google doesn’t have.

One of those listed, “Way Back Machine”, doesn’t carry the archives for at least six months after the fact. However, since none of the others have worked for me so far and may not ever, I will wait patiently and try Way Back Machine for some of these pages.

Very likely many have already thought out how to archive data and have the tools handy to do so. Maybe you’ve done it or are doing it already. Although I’m admittedly new to blogging, I’m not new to the internet. Of course, I’ve experienced some dead links here and there over the years when going back to an old bookmark, but the number of things vanishing lately seems to have a creepy Orwellian bent. I wonder if that’s true for many others. Am I just naive?

In any case, in the event that anyone coming across this post is either also new to blogging or new to preserving the information they’ve found, I’m going to go list the steps I plan to use. If you have suggestions for improving upon my list, I invite any and all suggestions. (Unless, of course, your suggestion is for me to go suck an egg because I’m archiving information on Barack Obama. If so, please don’t bother. It will just be deleted, anyway.)

So, here are the steps I’m personally going to take:
1) Spend some time everyday for the next few days reviewing past posts for web page references and video files that are only linked at this point. If they seem likely candidates for removal, I’m going to archive them using steps I’ll go through below.

Youtube videos:
Download permanently using Youtube Downloader. In addition to handy downloading, this program also converts videos for use on multiple platforms like Ipods, Windows Media Player, etc.

Web pages and graphics:
Take screenshots of sites using MWSnap. This is much more flexible than simply using the “print screen” function in Windows.
Depending upon the perceived importance of the website or page, save the page source by going to the “View” menu at the top of the browser and pasting into notepad, saving as html.

Of course, this data could really rack up in size fairly quickly. So there are storage needs to consider. Maybe it’s time to invest in another external hard drive or a big pack of CDs.

2) I will be noting the importance of information I find going forward and take the above steps on ongoing basis as necessary.

Like I said, others more experienced in these matters than myself are very welcome to leave suggested improvements.

Obama Spokeswoman Says Obama Has Been “Unequivocal” on “$250,000”, Then Lowers Threshold to $45,000 – $50,000

**PLEASE NOTE** This blog has been relocated. For updates to this post and to view more recent postings, click here.

$120,000 must be the new $150,000, no, it’s the new $200,000, no, the new $250,000. Huh??

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, in a radio interview on Denver, Colorado radio station 850 KOA today stated that people with incomes under $120,000 would receive tax cuts:

After months of stating that Obama would give tax cuts to “all working families” that made less than $250,000, that number has changed four, perhaps five times this week.

Those numbers for people who will have tax bulls-eyes tacked to their foreheads just keeps changing. In the whole “spreading” or redistributing the wealth scheme, those who will have their wealth “spread around” seem to be making less and less from one day to the next.

On Wednesday, “Oh, That’s Just Joe Being Joe” Joe Biden said the Obama-Biden tax plan would lower taxes for everyone making less than $150,000:

Perhaps in a “slow economy” or “financial crisis”, we just need to redefine the definition of “rich”. Wednesday, apparently, rich was $150,000, during Obama’s thirty minute indoctromercial, it was $200,000.

Perplexed by the four different numbers now floating, Fox News Stuart Varney, filling in on Neil Cavuto’s Your World, invited an Obama spokeswoman on to clear things up.

**Warning – Duct Tape Alert**

Please wrap your head securely in Duct tape prior to viewing as your head is likely to explode about 90 seconds in:

This link will take you to the Fox News site where you can view the video.

Miss Law seems to lower the threshold now to $45,000 – $50,000 if I get anythinng that makes any sense out of what she said.

If Mr. Obama, his running mate, a former Ambassador to the U.N. and sitting governor, or his “spokeswoman” can’t walk a straight line, let us do so here. Let’s examine some of the ways in which Miss Law tried to tap dance around directly clarifying which particular number is the one we are to believe:

  1. $150,000 and $120,000 were amounts used because they fall inside $250,000, and so does $200,000
  2. It’s not Mr. Obama who stated anything but $250,000, it was Joe Biden, and Governor Richardson
  3. Since it wasn’t Mr. Obama himself, we’d have to ask Joe Biden and Gov. Richardson what they meant
  4. Gov. Richardson and Sen. Biden were just saying those particular amounts because of the people they were talking to probably don’t make more than those amounts of money
  5. Mr. Obama did say $250,000 and then $200,000, but that’s not equivocating
  6. The discrepancies in amounts just reflect the struggle to define what “middle-class” is
  7. Middle-class is really $45,000 – $50,000

Miss Law really cleared things up, didn’t she? Let’s see if we understand her correctly, taking these explanations, one at a time and correcting the circular logic:

  1. It’s not a question of what falls inside the amount in question, and that’s not the context or language that was used by any of the speakers. It’s a question of where the threshold lies.
  2. First, it was Mr. Obama who was among those confusing the issue. But also, if a candidate or campaign sends out someone to speak on their behalf, they are obligated to have their facts straight. If they don’t have those facts straight, don’t send them out. If they say something that represents the candidate’s point of view, we will take the person at face value. Otherwise, the candidate himself should call a press conference and clear things up. Besides, since Miss Law was speaking on the campaigns behalf, hence the word, “spokeswoman”, are we not to believe anything she says either.
  3. We don’t need to ask Biden or Richardson anything. They already spoke. Were they rogues out there without campaign permission? Can we have Miss Law’s cell phone number so we can call and ask her what she meant?
  4. So the campaign is admitting that they say things to different people in different places?
  5. Huh?? Then what the heck is it?
  6. The discussion is not regarding the “struggle to define middle-class”, it’s an effort to nail down a dollar amount at which certain incomes will be taxed higher and others given cuts. Apparently we are being clearly told that until the “struggle” is resolved, we’re not going to be clear on that murky middle-class definition. Hence, the threshold for “rich” is TBD. In other words, we won’t really know what the amount is until after Sen. Obama is elected.
  7. Now we’re getting down to it. That $45,000 figure is suspiciously like the $41,600 figure we’d heard about earlier in the campaign: Sen. Obama had at one point in the U.S. Senate voted to raise taxes on  people with incomes above that amount.

Let us examine the definition of the word “equivocate”, courtesy of Merriam-Webster’s:


1 : to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive 2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says

2 : to avoid committing oneself in what one says

Seems like the whole loopy discussion is the definition of “equivocate”.

Finally, let’s move totally into the land of common sense and sound reasoning. Is there any real doubt about what’s going on here? We’re being bombarded with so many amounts at this stage, so later, if elected President Obama can stake a claim on whichever amount is most convenient.

Leftie Attack Machine Sets Its Crosshairs on Rep. Michele Bachmann of MN, Pelosi Pledges $1 Mil to Opponent, Other $1 Mil+ Floods In, Her Residence Vandalized

**PLEASE NOTE** This blog has been relocated. For updates to this post and more recent posts, please click here.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball on MSNBC on October 17.

That puts Rep. Bachmann at the top of the list of the extremely brave or the extremely unaware. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews? As if you’re going to get anything like a fair shake from the guy who feels a tingle going up his leg when he hears Barack Obama speak.

In any case, I haven’t seen such a good case of telling it like it is as I observed here, in a very long time. Bravo, Michelle.

Now, trouble of it is, there’s been just a wee bit of fall out from this appearance. She was invited onto The O’Reilly Factor Thursday, October 23 to talk about the appearance. She explained to Bill that she isn’t backing off of her statements about the fact that Barack Obama’s past associations are very, very troubling. She again cited Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. She told Bill the only thing she regrets is that Chris Matthews kept repeating the phrase “Anti-American”, laying a trap of sorts, and she rather fell into it by repeating the phrase back to him.

I don’t think she should back up or off one inch, because Obama has many very troubling associations many of whom are clearly Anti-American. What else do you call it when a man is involved with a terrorist group whose goal is to overthrow the government? That same man, as recently as 2003, label himself as a small “c” communist, and a Marxist. Is that American? He used funding for an education program to set up a U.N. school, a school based on the premises of the U.N., not the United States. How pro-American is any of that. Further, Rev. Jeremiah rate said God%$#@ America, claims that the U.S. purposely infected African Americans witht he AIDS virus. Now, if that’s not anti-American, I don’t know what is. That’s just two of Barack Obama’s associations. When someone has those kinds of associations, and refuses to explain them, that is troubling. It does cause anyone with common sense wonder; just how pro-American is Mr. Obama?

Michelle Bachmann does a better job of articulating why Sen. Obama’s past associations are so troubling and why his becoming President along with a Democratic majority in Congress is dangerous for the country better than the McCain campaign is doing.

On Tuesday, October 21, Bachmann appeared on Mike Gallagher’s radio show. The audio is available from Gallagher’s website if you prefer to listen and a transcript of the conversation is below:

Rep. Bachmann: Mike Gallagher, I am so proud of you and so honored to be on your show, I can’t tell you.

Mike Gallagher: Well, after the beating you took on the Today Show it’s nice for you to have a friendly environment for a few minutes. Even though you weren’t on there in person, they acted like you were Jack the Ripper for what you said. And of course, we played the audio clip of what you said originally, which I think what you said was a pretty reasonable thing to say.

Rep. Bachmann: And I have so much respect for you Mike, because when a Republican is attacked, this is what the Left do, they cow Republicans into silence because no one wants to go through what I am going through right now. When you question the radical policies of the next potential president of the United States may have, the Left just goes crazy. They have tried to define subjects that are on-limits and off-limits for this election. And I touched something that is off limits. I called Chris Matthews on the carpet, and I said, Chris, Look, if John McCain had named as two of his three life mentors, Jeremiah Wright and Father Flagger, you would have been all over him. You have failed to do your due diligence as the national media to check out Barack Obama, and they can’t take it, because the point is, what are Barack Obama’s policies? Will they be for America or will they be against traditional American ideals and values? And I’ll tell you what, punishing tax rates, redistribution of wealth, socialized medicine, inputting censorship in the form of the UnFairness Doctrine, and taking away the secret ballot from the worker has nothing to do with traditional American values. And that’s why your listeners need to know. Otherwise, the United States may be literally changed forever if Barack Obama becomes the next President, Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House, Harry We Lost the War Reid the head of the Senate, and then they have the power to appoint three more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court, what are we going to do then?

Mike Gallagher: That’s precisely what’s in play here. I mean, you know, I was watching CNN, Willie Brown, from San Francisco, talking about all the agenda of pushing forth the agenda of gay marriage, and you know, under a liberal democrat president and Democrats in the Congress I mean, as San Francisco goes, so goes the rest of the country. You know, we’ll see a different country than the one we recognize. And yet, your comments were so… mainstream. And that’s what’s fascinating, there’s nothing you’ve said, even on the show, and I know that people have tried to corner you about your comments on the show, you didn’t say anything that isn’t what ordinary Americans are wondering about. a presidential candidate who talks about spreading around the wealth, and cavorting with a guy like Bill Ayers and a woman like Bernadine Dorn, who wants to overthrow capitalism. How is it not reasonable to wonder if that’s anti-American?

Rep. Bachmann: And what I did is touch a nerve, just like Joe the Plumber touched a nerve, by questioning Barack Obama punishing high tax rates and then Barack Obama saying he wants to spread the wealth around. That’s exactly what happened to me on Chris Matthews’ I touched a nerve, which shows how ultra-hypersensative Leftists are right now in this country. They know America is a center-right country. They know Americans would shrink back if they truly came to understand how radically Obama would change this country.  I mean, they’re so afraid. Nancy Pelosi came here to Minnesota and she went in front of the media and she said to the Minnesota media, that me, Michelle Bachmann, has dishonored the position that I hold in Congress, and that my statements, that my statements discredit me as a person. Then she got back on the plane and left. I’ll tell you, right now…

Mike Gallagher: By the way, she got a bigger plane. She didn’t like the plane she had. She got a bigger plane so she could fly around the country and discredit people like Michelle Bachmann.

Rep. Bachmann: Well, and that’s why shows like the Today show are banding together with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews to get my scalp on a platter. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews alone have raised $1 million dollars for my opponent, just this last Friday.

Mike Gallagher: You’re kidding me.

Rep. Bachmann: No, no, over a million dollars in online contributions in that amount of time to take out my scalp. they’re serious about it cause they can’t stand the fact that I’m fighting them. Nancy Pelosi also pledged to donate $1 million toward my opponent. So $2 million have come in, Friday, to make sure that I lose this election. That’s why I need, I’m desperate for help right now, or else I lose.

Mike Gallagher: Give me your website address so people can donate from everywhere.

Rep. Bachmann: It’s michellebachmann.com. Michelle with one “l”, Bachmann, with two “n’s”. michellebachmann.com, and I’ll tell you what, the listeners on the left, they can’t give enough money to silence me. Oh you’re an extraordinary man, I just can’t thank you enough for your support, Mike. It’s humbling.

Mike Gallagher: We’re just so honored to be able to fight on behalf of somebody like you, who your story is so amazing. Alot of the people around the country don’t know your story. They don’t know about all of the foster children that you’ve brought into your home and changed their lives, they don’t know about your solid conservative values and your, you’re just such a terrific representative of what’s right about America, to see what you’re going through, because you basically said on a national tv show, hey you know, Barack Obama, I wonder about some of his pro-America positions  when he talks about spreading around the wealth. I think the media oughtta investigate and do an exposee about whether or not some of these members of Congress are either pro or Anti-American. That’s what gets you in so-called hot water? I mean.  Congresswoman, are the reports true, that the National Republican Campaign Committee has pulled out of funding your tv ads in the last few days here?

Rep. Bachmann: Yes, it’s true.

Mike Gallagher: Why?

Rep. Bachmann: Well, I don’t know. One thing, I give the Left a lot of credit. One thing they do, is they really hang tough with eachother. And I think there’s a lot we can learn from that. They support each other through thick and thin. And that’s why I have just so much respect and appreciation for you, Mike, you’re there, hanging in there through thick and thin. And um, I agree that I choose my words badly, and I’m sorry for that, but, um,  I didn’t commit a crime here, worthy of death. That’s kind of what’s happening in the media right.

Mike Gallagher: It’s certainly not worthy of losing your job, I mean it’s outrageous, that, as you said, the Left has managed to raise over a $1 million.

Rep. Bachmann: It’s over $2 million.

Mike Gallagher: Oh, it’s $2 million now. I gotta tell you, all of the emails that are flooding into us, when I just, about an hour ago, gave a $500 contribution to your campaign.

Rep. Bachmann: Oh, Mike.

Mike Gallagher: But listen to this, yesterday, I got a call from a guy in Beverly Hills, California, listening to me, he was so touched by what your up against, he made the maximum donation to your campaign of $2,300. I’ve got people, I’ve got a lady in Atlanta, she says, I’m broke, I gave Michelle Bachmann $10. I mean it’s incredible, I mean people are rallying around you because now’s the time to fight for what we believe, Congresswoman. We can’t let these bullies win.

Rep. Bachmann: And, you’ve just hit the point, Mike. This isn’t about Michelle Bachmann. Because I didn’t go to Washington, D. C. for a job or for a career. I was a Federal tax lawyer and I have five biological kids, and like you mentioned, my husband Marcus and I have raised over twenty-three foster kids. We just have a heart for kids who are at risk in our communityat risk. I had a full plate of things I had to do, but I was very concerned about the direction of our country. And that’s why I was willing to go on Chris Matthews’ show last Friday. I didn’t go on to get votes for myself. I didn’t go on to help myself. I went on because I was so concerned, like yourself, Mike, about what will happen to our country if we have Nancy Pelosi in the House, the values of Harry Reid in the Senate, and the ideas and the power of Barack Obama sitting in the Presidency, with the ability to appoint three more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court. Because we will see punishing-high tax rates. They aren’t shy about this. Two days ago, Barney Frank, the Chair of the Financial Services Committee that I sit on, said we need to have massive spending increases, not worry about deficits and then raise taxes. They aren’t shy about it. This is what theyre planning to do. They will punish success, like the Joe the Plumbers of this world who want to succeed, that American dream will go away. That is why my race is so crucial. Because I’m a fighter, and I take it to them. I take it to them everday on the floor of the United States Senate. And I took it to ’em on Hardball with Chris Matthews. And I walked into a trap and I got tripped up because Chris Matthews was used the word over and over and over again. He was driving home the word “anti-Amerian”. Foolishly, I repeated back to him, in my response, the word “anti-American”. I wish I wouldn’t have done that. But that being the case, I don’t back away at all from my concern for my country.

Mike Gallagher: Please don’t. Please don’t. And let me tell you what we’re trying to do here. Just so you know, because millions of Americans, I think, are touched by your passion. We’ve linked your website to mine, so we’re inviting listeners to go to mikeonline.com to make any kind of contribution they can. And, furthermore, we’re now in touch with our station in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the Twin Cities, the Patriot, and I’m trying to figure out a way to get there Wednesday night, and bring my buddy, Jackie Mason, whose the great comedian.

Rep. Bachmann: Oh, he’s so talented.

Mike Gallagher: Well, he’s funny and he supports you, Mi-. He wants to either deliver in person or by video, a stand-up message for you and we might be able to pull off a fundraiser Wednesday night in the Twin Cities on your behalf, so we’ll keep everybody posted on that. Stay up, Congresswoman, don’t get down on us, we need you to keep fighting.

Rep. Bachmann: What a doll you are, I appreciate it. You know, this has really unhinged a lot of people. Yesterday, my home was vandalized. WE have a white painted house – [Mike Gallagher:] What?! [Rep. Bachmannsomeone took black spray paint yesterday, came to my home and sprayed black paint on my house, that said the word “scum”, spray painted my driveway.

Mike Gallagher: Are you kidding me?

Rep. Bachmann: This has gotten people completely unglued. It’s the front page of all our big newspapers. Big photos of me and essentially putting a hairshirt on me, telling the world here in Minnesota that I’ve committed the most offensive crime known to man. It is unbelievable, huge photos, above the fold, banner headlines on every night on the local news, on all of our radio stations. You haven’t seen anything like this.

Mike Gallagher: Wow.

Rep. Bachmann: They see, they smell blood. They want a scalp, because they want to silence someone whose been willing to touch the nerve of what Barack Obama could do to change our country forever –

Mike Gallagher: Not to mention your Democrat opponent in Congress. We’re going to keep fighting for you. We hope we’ll see you Wednesday night in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Michelle Bachmann, God Bless You, hang in there, don’t get down.

Rep. Bachmann: Thank you.

So, the thanks that Michelle Bachmann has gotten for standing up to the ubber-left media and just calling a spade a spade, is to now have a bullseye placed right on her forehead.

Whatever can be done to help her, needs to be done. Not only is she willing to stand up and say what most politicians are not saying about Barack Obama, she was out front on the energy issue, she voted against the bailout bill, twice. This woman needs to be sent back to Congress, there are so few politicians like her.

To donate to her campaign, visit this website.

MORTIFIED to be a Nebraskan! High taxes, licensing witch-hunts, ridiculous Safe Haven Law, UNL invited Bill Ayers. Get me outta here!

**PLEASE NOTE** This blog has moved. For updates on this post and more recent stories, please click here.

Nebraska is supposedly “solidly red” but has high taxation and a recent string of governmental bungles. Three of these embarrassing episodes displaying poor policy and lack of common sense have made national news in the last few weeks. Are these Nebraska events just coincidentally happening within a short period, are they symptomatic of systemic bad decision making, or are the current events here just illustrative of what plagues government in most of America?

This is a long post. I’ve had it with government incompetence and elitist arrogance. Probably a self-indulgent rant, I admit. But also possibly a lot of examples of where we’re going wrong in this country. We seem to be living in a land where there is no longer any common sense or moral standards.

I’m finding out that life-long convictions should be kept if they are based on sound reasoning or even a gut instinct with a good track record. One of mine, previously long held, was that I would never live in the state of Nebraska. Because of a promotion offer made to my husband, we tried to ensure the compensation agreement settled on covered the increased cost of living. Calculated numbers can’t tell you everything. The “won’t live in Nebraska pledge” was based on a lifetime of personal observation regarding the state’s tax policies. What I’ve realized since is that a state’s tax policies are likely to be an indicator of other flaws.

Unfortunately, Nebraska made national news recently multiple times, and at one point, last week, three days in a row. The headlines regarded a loopy state senator’s lawsuit, a newly implemented “Safe Haven” law, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s invitation to William Ayers to speak to students. There’s no question, I’m embarrassed to say, “I live in Nebraska.” The sad part is, I really did know better and I just tried to convince myself otherwise. Sometimes the lessons we learn come in the form of having our head rammed into a brick wall. While I have adequately learned my lesson about maintaining convictions, it doesn’t prevent me from wanting to scream. National embarrassment is actually the least of my concerns. The most recent headlining-making incident affects my family directly, and really sets my blood boiling. But some of the most irritating policies and recent bungles haven’t made national news.

My opinion about living in Nebraska developed based on it’s tax policies in contrast to its immediate neighbors to the north, South Dakota, and east, Iowa. Since I lived for long periods in both of these two states in communities immediately adjacent to Nebraska until two years ago, my observations of the contrast were first hand.  Considering the many issues that arise in any region throughout it’s history, the three state convergence provided me with many examples from which to learn. As would be expected,  tri-state area demographics are used for decision making by businesses, such as whether or not to open a nationally popular chain restaurant. Manufacturers have been able to take advantage of the available labor base while having the option to pick and choose which specific state’s tax structure is most advantageous. In an effort to stay informed, I’d seen many debates and decisions of that kind. Most often, businesses did not choose to locate in Nebraska.

Besides my observations of the business climate as an adult, I was left with an impression as a young adult that you didn’t want to live in Nebraska if you already owned or wanted to own a nice car. The motley collection of clunkers crossing the Missouri River with Nebraska plates told the tale. I would occasionally hear personally of people who had moved into the smaller Nebraska city across the bridge from Iowa, then later were turned into the Nebraska State Patrol by a neighbor with some kind of grudge for having Iowa license plates although they’d been living in Nebraska for several years. The state, of course, charges basic licensing and title fees comparable to others, but there are several other taxes and fees: personal property tax is assessed on vehicles annually, there is a “wheel tax” in many counties, and upon the purchase of any new or used vehicle, the same sales tax rate is applied to the as if one were buying toilet paper, a refrigerator, or a pair of blue jeans, which is 7% almost everywhere in the state. Perhaps that laundry list of taxes and fees is standard practice in many states, but it wasn’t and isn’t in Iowa or South Dakota.

My early and vague impression about Nebraska and the expenses associated with owning a vehicle here  have only been reinforced since our move. Iowa applies the base state sales tax rate of 5% at the time of the purchase. South Dakota has a special vehicle purchase excise tax rate of 3%, again, applied upon purchase. Neither of the two states has a personal property tax, at least not on vehicles or on any item I ever owned while living in either state, and neither have a wheel tax.

Since I’m frugal or thrifty….ok, since, I’m cheap, I found myself whining annually when renewing my license plates in the state of Iowa. The best illustration I can give of differences among these three states is to use my own vehicles and their respective cost to license in each. Certainly, this little illustration will reveal a number of things about my husband and myself, such as the unavoidable truth that we ran the gambit from living within, above, and then below our means in the span of the last fifteen years. So be it. At least we’ve learned something.

In the state of Iowa in 1994, the cost to license a 1993 Ford Taurus sedan was $150 per year, and we paid $425 in sales tax when purchased. Three years later, the licensing fee was still $150, but when moving to South Dakota it cost just $45 for a full year. In 1998, we bought a 1997 Ford Expedition. It cost $630 in sales tax and a whopping $75 to license it in South Dakota. The clerk looked sheepish when she pushed the bill across the counter. “This is the highest rate we charge, because it’s a truck and it’s so new. It will stay that high for a few years. The law just changed and the costs went up,” she said apologetically. I almost wanted to kiss her but wasn’t surprised by the amount. Employing the same logic as we had done when purchasing a vehicle in Iowa, we’d checked prior to buying. In some cases, the taxes and fees can be a deal breaker. $630 is nothing to sneeze at if you value a dollar, but it wasn’t $1400, which would have been the cost had we resided in Nebraska at the time. And that’s just the sales tax. I don’t want to know what the personal property tax would have been.

We continued to pay that “high” $75 fee for a few years. It dropped to $56 and then $45. The clerk told me at the $45 drop that that would be the lowest price it would ever hit. Same clerk who originally waited on me and she was only slightly less apologetic. Every year, I made sure I expressed my gratitude to the County Treasurer and staff at the reasonableness of the costs, and they were pleased. At least I had the sense to appreciate a good thing when I had it.

In 2006, when we licensed the same 1997 Ford Expedition in the state of Nebraska, the total for the license, title fee, personal property tax, and wheel tax was almost $450. At renewal in 2007, it cost over $350. My renewal is coming up soon and can’t wait to see how much an eleven year old truck will cost. In 2007, we added a 1999 Ford Taurus Wagon to our “luxurious fleet”. All of the taxes and fees amounted to over $400. That’s on a vehicle we paid $3800 and gave over a clunky van that had to be jump started (yeah, yeah, redneck, what can I say?) to get it to the dealer. The thing booked at around $5000. Renewal in 2008 was $130+. These are nearly or over ten year old vehicles, for Pete’s sake. We’ve become economic “freaks” in recent years, having adopted a no-debt policy (other than our mortgage). Obviously, we’re not like so many people who buy new vehicles every five years or even more frequently. Yes, our Expedition was high end at the time we purchased it. I’ve already acknowledged we’ve lived above our means at one point. We’re not going to replace that truck anytime soon but I wonder how other people can afford not only hefty car payments, but the increased cost of all the fees that must be sky high on an equivalent vehicle today. I would guess many roll those expenses right into their car loan. We would probably have considered that if we’d lived in Nebraska at the time. If we were dumb enough to go into that much debt on a vehicle, we’d likely have been dumb enough to finance the taxes and fees, too. What are people getting for all of these taxes and fees? I wish I could say that there is something special about the state of Nebraska in that the roads are generally better constructed, in better repair, or noticeably clearer in the winter, but I can’t. I can’t figure out what the heck we are getting for our money.

I can say where at least some portion of that money goes in Nebraska and one reason why Iowa also costs more than South Dakota; that state’s county Treasurer offices don’t fool around mailing reminders to people when it’s time to renew. Wonder of wonders, they expect people to remember to do it themselves. If after sixty days, their is a failure to comply, there is a summons issued. I never knew anyone who found themselves in county jail for that offense. What I found even more interesting was the local news eight years ago detailing how people from Nebraska and even Iowa had been caught in the attempt to avoid the hefty licensing fees in their homes states by opening post office boxes in small South Dakota towns and then using that address as a “residence” basis for licensing in South Dakota. To the best of my recollection, that particular loophole was closed; vehicle licenses in South Dakota are established with residential addresses, post office boxes are no longer accepted.

Although one would expect to, and does see lots of out of state plates in a state university’s home city, it seemed upon moving here, we saw a disproportionate number of South Dakota plates. State officials apparently noticed it as well. Last spring, local news reported investigations by the Nebraska State Patrol of suspected circumvention of licensing laws. The investigations, the report detailed, included actually following cars with South Dakota plates to see if they went to Nebraska residences. The probe went further and we personally experienced what it’s like to become targets of a government witch-hunt, if only on a minor scale.

About a year and a half after moving to Nebraska, and therefore seventeen months after licensing our vehicles here, we and several thousand of our fellow citizens received threatening letters from the Nebraska State Patrol, on the governor’s letterhead. The letter stated, “Our records indicate that a vehicle (or vehicles) has been registered in your name in another state.” The letter also informed that we might not be in violation but “there will be an investigation to evaluate this information.” We were also warned that failure to comply with state law is a felony and we would be prosecuted, but were urged to comply voluntarily.

One wonders at the total expense of this effort. Postage and printing of the letters alone had to be significant. My husband and I always title our vehicles jointly, and as would be expected from oh-so efficient government, there was apparently no effort to weed out duplications by address, joint ownership, marital status, or otherwise. We each received our own letter, so there was double the expense. It may seem trivial, but the paper was heavier than the cheapo standard office stuff, was virtually full of print, included several of those official state seals, and was printed in two colors of ink. Further, there is a statement at the bottom: “Printed with soy ink on recycled paper.” Super! We all know that recycled stuff is so much more cost effective than that which is traditionally manufactured. Glad our tax dollars are not only subsidizing farmers’ with a myriad of government programs, including ill-advised corn-based ethanol, but that we are helping out with soy bean prop-ups as well.

Besides just the cost of sending out these letters, the entire basis for making the contacts must be questioned. What was the criteria, after all? Common sense tells us (now, there’s a concept) that the letters my husband and I received provide decent information with which to make some reasonable surmises about the general plan employed by the state. The letter was sent to our Nebraska residence. Since it doesn’t make any reference to a particular vehicle, we have to do some guessing, but the options are finite. When we moved from South Dakota, we owned two vehicles and a boat. Within thirty days of the move, we licensed the two vehicles in Nebraska. Within a year we made the aforementioned trade of the clunky van for that luxurious station wagon. The wagon was promptly licensed in Nebraska. So, both of our passenger vehicles were licensed by June of 2007. The boat we owned never left the state of South Dakota as it was stored and used there. In 2007, we renewed the licenses for the boat and its trailer, but changed the address on file to our residence in Nebraska. This way of handling the situation was exactly according to the letter of the law in both states; location of majority use determines where a boat is to be licensed. And it took all of ten minutes for me to verify that information, including looking up the necessary phone numbers for the appropriate government agencies. Within a couple of months of renewing the license, the boat was sold by consignment through a South Dakota dealership. In other words, we haven’t owned a “vehicle” of any type licensed in the state of South Dakota since the summer of 2007, under any address.

There are only a few ways that the state could have used to determine their basis for mailing letters to “violators”. Regardless of which one chosen, it was clearly all erroneous. Since the letter was received through and addressed to our residence in Nebraska, the only logical explanation is that the state of Nebraska requested and paid for a list of licenses held in South Dakota with Nebraska addresses and the list included boats as well as passenger vehicles. The letter quotes the state law requiring the licensing of passenger vehicles. Why they would pay money, and you know they had to have paid for the cost of generating such reports, for dated lists that included a lot of clearly useless information is rather mind boggling. In addition to this incompetence, the very basis of trolling for people actually using a Nebraska address with “vehicles” licensed in another state is just plain stupid. People who are truly subverting the law don’t use their Nebraska address; they use a phony one, one of a relative, one for an empty piece of land, one for a hunting cabin they use once a year, and so on. I know this is what goes on, because I know you can’t license a passenger vehicle in South Dakota with a Nebraska address. I also know its bogus because we’ve been in full compliance with the law the entire time. It’s all so ridiculous.

In addition to the cost of obtaining the “fresh” list of supposedly felonious peoples’ names from the neighboring states of South Dakota and Iowa, there would also have been fuel costs for following vehicles around, apparently, to see where they live, the man hours lost on this hot pursuit, the incalculable costs of crimes committed while the State Patrol was looking the other way, and time spent by state officials’ and attendant PR departments dealing with the ugly backlash that followed the news stories and receipt of the letters. Likely, there ware man hours in the State Attorney General’s office at some level, as multiple attorneys stated their angry objections to the language of the letter and advised the public to ignore the letter, since in their opinions, several aspects of it were unconstitutional.

We took the free “advice” of the enraged attorneys. I was more than ready to field any silly inquiries of the State Patrol and happy to produce the proper documentation. Nearly six months later, I haven’t heard a peep out of the state. Have they been following me? Don’t know, don’t care. I abide by the speed limits, wear my seat belt, etc., etc.

So…the state of Nebraska clearly expended a good chunk of change so they could pursue dead ends and actually do little to deal with getting people to comply with properly licensing their vehicles.

Is there any method that would actually be effective in catching the non-compliant? I can’t think of one that doesn’t remind one of checkpoints with a uniformed guy saying, “Papers, please.” I do have a radical idea: how about lowering the cost of licensing vehicles in the state of Nebraska? It’s amazing how compliant people are when these costs are kept reasonable, in fact, how well they can actually remember to comply, on their own, when this is the case. It seems to me that the costs have to be as high as they are just to fund all of the nonsense I just detailed. It’s fantastic to watch our tax dollars at work.

Nebraska’s vehicle taxes and licensing fees are just the tip of the tax iceberg. It has the highest overall tax rate in a nine state region, when considering income , personal property, sale, and real estate taxes. For a family making over $27,000 per year, the income tax rate is 6.84%, in Iowa the same family would be taxed 6.8%, if they made over $40,000, the rate would be 7.92%, over $60,000, 8.98%. (Click this link to check the source of this information.) In South Dakota, there is no income tax. It’s obvious why my family moved from Iowa to South Dakota. Nebraska’s real estate property tax is 1.74% of value, compared to Iowa’s 1.25%, and South Dakota’s 1.30%.

One would think our state is in big financial trouble. What other reason could there be for such high taxes? Not so, in the last few weeks, it was reported that there is a $500 million dollar budget surplus, and state officials are debating about whether that money should be held in reserve or, gasp!, returned to the taxpayers, or double gasp!!, whether taxes should be lowered. Wow, tough question.

Believe me, I’ve already kicked myself a number of times for going against my previous conviction about living here. Besides learning not to get into debt, I’ve also learned one would benefit tremendously by subscribing to the newspaper of a city or town which one is considering moving to for a time prior to making the final decision. So, another lesson learned. But we tried to be smart; we ran all of the numbers, not just taxes. We did make one serious mistake; we assumed that this city would have similar or lower costs for groceries and fuel as compared to the smaller, more rural area from which we were moving. We based that assumption on knowledge of prices in Nebraska’s largest city, Omaha. We all know what happens when one assumes things. At least we had checked everything else, right down to the cost of cable TV. Our weekly food costs went up 25% and gas cost at least $.25 more gallon than we’d previously paid. And that was prior to the overall rises people began experience about year to a year and a half ago.

Incompetence and high expense are not isolated to the state government here. We have the misfortune to have moved to the city in Nebraska with the highest cost of living, and apparently with the most incompetent municipal government. Within six months of our move, there was a city-wide property tax increase in addition to the expected increase resulting from an updated assessment, both of which increased our monthly mortgage payment by $100. After getting settled in to our new community, we discovered that the City of Lincoln has been running budget deficits for several years and have been debating the implementation of a city income tax. Super! At at time when the local newspaper was busy running stories such as the one entitled “A Broke City”, complete with photos of failing infrastructure, the mayor proposed a housing industry stimulus package that would have given a $5,000 – $10,000 bonus to first-time or new construction home buyers. Wonder of wonders, the new home construction industry in the city has been slowing down. This proposal, and a competing one from a City Council member was made a couple of weeks prior to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meltdown and the subsequent financial crisis. It’s mighty interesting that not one word about said stimulus has been uttered since…from anyone.

There are a number of other examples of total lack of common sense applied by both the state and local government here, but all that I’ve already mentioned gets the point across amply. When coupled with the several national headlines that appeared last week, three days in a row, any lingering doubts about whether our move was a mistake, have been erased. It’s almost like God heard my internal dialogue and decided to send me a message.

The message came in the form of weeks of national news reports culminating with three days in a row. The first point worthy of note to national press was that a state Senator filed a lawsuit against God. Yes, I did just say “God”, as in Yahwey, the Alpha, the Omega, you get the picture. The case was filed almost a year ago, and last Wednesday, October 15, a judge dismissed the case. It begs the question: why on earth did it take that long? My favorite column or headline regarding the adventure is entitled, “There’s Just No Cure For Stupid” found in the Royse City, Texas, Herald-Banner, in which columnist John Browning examines not one, but two stupid Nebraska cases, among others. “Maybe there’s something in the water in Nebraska”, he mused. Yeah, maybe…

The next, and most frequently reported on Nebraska issue generating national press buzz really ginned up a few weeks ago. In the Unicameral’s 2008 session, those genius state Senators, in reaction (over-reaction?) to an infant abandonment incident at an Omaha hospital, decided to pass a Safe Haven law. Prior to this, Nebraska had no legal way for a parent to legally abandon their child. Oh, the horror! I understand the purpose of Safe Haven laws, but there was not an epidemic of abandoned or dead babies in this state prior to that lone incident of a mother abandoning her baby in the hospital bathroom.

In any case, the over reaction was palpable. The legislature quickly passed a Safe Haven law. Somehow, and no one seems to be able to explain it, the law was written in such a way that allows any child up to the age of nineteen to be abandoned at a hospital without legal recourse. In the last four weeks, 19 children have been abandoned in Nebraska, two of which were trucked in out of state. One mother actually drove all the way from Michigan to dump her teenager off in Nebraska. All of the children were over the age of 2, and all but three of them were teenagers. One of the stories I found in the national press was this AP story chronicling the Michigan mother’s abandonment. When two days in a row saw multiple drop offs, one of which was five children from the same family, local news began reporting about government official’s debating over a potential special session of the legislature to change this very poorly written law. Nebraska doesn’t allow the governor to call a special session. He’s stated the law needs changing, but he’s not sure a special session is necessary. State senate leaders have said the same. Some apparently powerless members of the Senate have called out for a special session, to no avail. This debate began when fewer than a dozen children had been abandoned. As of today, Friday, October 24, a total of 19 have been abandoned, two of which were dropped off in the last 48 hours. Perhaps the debate about a special session will continue long enough that it will be time for the regular session to convene in January. Wonder how many kids will be scarred for life after being abandoned as teenagers by their parents?

The most recent, and most embarrassing in the series of headline splashes, and it appears we’re going for the tri-fecta, is that the University of Nebraska – Lincoln College of Education and Human Science had invited William Ayers, to speak to its students in November. Fire and brimstone hailed down on the college the minute the word hit the streets, in the form of floods of phone calls and emails. College of Education Dean Marjorie Kostelnik said, “It’s been a universally negative response.” How shocking!

I happened to hear this wonderful tidbit from Rush Limbaugh. I was incensed. Within two minutes I was dialing the Office of Admissions. It just so happens I have a high school senior who is corresponding currently with six different colleges in an effort to narrow down to his top three to four choices. Among his six prospects, one won’t find any ivy league school on the list, but one would have found UNL, until a week ago. It may be that we can’t afford to send him to his preferred conservative schools and since so many colleges and universities are incredibly liberal, why pay $20,000 per year for indoctrination when you can pay $7,000? UNL was the fallback choice only because of the in-state tuition and the ability to cut expenses by living at home. I was struggling with my distaste for this option, and once again, it’s like God was urgently phoning in a message. He said, “Wondering about sending your kid to UNL? Wonder no more, my child!” What in the world are the odds that as several early decision dates loom and the Obama / Ayers connection is being hotly debated in the media, my state’s, nay, my city’s university invites the guy to speak? Coincidence? I think not.

I called the Office of Admissions specifically, because I wanted to let that department know how the invitation to Ayers would affect my son’s decision to attend. One thing I’ve learned in life; I’m not unique. If I’m thinking something, so is someone else. There have to be other parents out there who feel exactly the same way as myself. Trouble is, so often, people don’t take the time or trouble to voice to the offending party what caused their decision. I thought that voice needed to be heard. Upon reaching the receptionist, I was transferred to a counselor, who, unbelievably, had neither ever heard of Ayers nor had any knowledge of the invitation. I let this poor woman, who must have been living under a rock for the past six months, know who William Ayers is. I sketched out his background and I made sure I told her that I hadn’t just taken someone else’s word for it, I’d looked into the issue myself. I informed her that if the University had William Ayers on it’s campus, my son would not being choosing UNL next fall and neither of my other children would seriously give the school its consideration in the future. I further informed that there are some people who should be the object of universal scorn in our society, and this fellow is one of those people. I compared Ayers’ impending visit to that of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s to Columbia University in 2007.

The very polite, kind counselor informed that she was unaware of this particular issue but appreciated that I was expressing my concerns and my opinion. She further informed me that the University was open to all points of view. PC message received, loud and clear. I accepted the offer to be transferred to the Communications Director.

Finding myself connected to the voice mail of that director rather than the live person came as no surprise to me, as I imagined how many phone calls she was now receiving. I left a message for her. Considering the “We Are the World” attitude I was given by the Admissions’ Counselor, I felt it important to take on the ridiculous world of academia nonsense regarding taking into account “all points of view”. Finally, I expressed my concern as a taxpayer, who had zero desire to participate in funding such an endeavor. I was actually very pleased to have gotten the voice mail; I didn’t have to talk to a PC press person but was able to get my message across.

At the time I made my calls, the University was sticking to its invitation. The next day, Friday, October 17, my husband handed me a copy of the Omaha World-Herald for my reading “enjoyment” on a flight. The headline read “UNL invitation to Ayers raises furor”. Towards the beginning of the article, I was pleased to read that one of the regents, a Randy Ferlic, urged donors to withhold funds and gave his opinion on how the decision to invite Ayers reflected on the University’s Chancellor and staff, “[it] speaks volumes of the arrogance”. And how. Not much further reading in the article allowed readers to sample some of that arrogance.

Chancellor Perlman stated, “In this instance, it is unfortunate that a lecture directed toward an academic subject has become implicated in a political campaign. Nothing in his presence suggests that the university supports his personal or political philosophy or condones any of his former conduct.”

I’m with Randy Ferlic. Speaks volumes of the arrogance, alright. What is actually most arrogant about it is that it is possible for a man who oversees the education of thousands of students every year, to be completely ignorant of the fact that Mr. Ayers didn’t stop being a radical just because he “went on to gain a measure of respect in the education world”, as the Herald informed its readers in the typical mainstream media oh-so-unbiased-way. Ayers acceptance in the world of academia is not an endorsement of Bill Ayers; it’s an indictment of academia. One wonders whether Mr. Perlman has bothered to read the “100 academic articles and 17 books” that Mr. Ayers has written. No one can accuse Bill Ayers of being stupid, that’s for sure. He is actually very intelligent. He realized he could have more impact on radicalizing society by infusing his Marxist, anarchist viewpoint into the academic world. He teaches teachers how to teach. Not only is he an unrepetent terrorist who wanted to overthrow American society, he decided he could do a better job of that by tinkering with the educational system. And apparently, the educational system is only to warmly ready to accept him.

The defense of the invitation and explanation of its history is definately more arrogant even than the Chancellor’s ignorance and an insult to the citizens of the state of Nebraska who took the time to let their voices be heard. The school was very quick to point out that a private donation was being used to fund the event at which Ayers was scheduled to speak. It was actually money raised by the University of Nebraska Foundation. This is a fantastic group. This isn’t the first time its done something marvelous like this; there has been another statewide flap recently (yes, another one) regarding an effort to repeal Affirmative Action throughout the state. This helpful foundation has used some of its funds to fight this effort.

The chronicle of the process of engineering the invitation, and its review by the College of Education is just too rich:

Education Dean Marjorie Kostelnik said that when the college invited Ayers to the conference in February, some on the selection committee were vaguely aware of his controversial past, ‘but it wasn’t high on their radar screen’. They were focused on his academic credentials.

Officials in the college learned more about Ayers after he became a figure in the campaign. They decided then not to withdraw the invitation but to make clear to him that he was to speak only on his research.

Well, that’s just fantastic. I’m sure that would do the trick, really.

But Kostelnik’s rationalization and defense of the decision to hold to the invitation gets even better. Somewhat ironically, one of the better stories quoting Kostelnik appeared in my hometown’s newspaper on Thursday, Oct. 16. The Sioux City Journal article reports:

She said Ayers is an expert in two areas that are of interest to the university’s teaching students: teaching methods that help assure students of all socio-economic backgrounds receive quality education; and research designed to increase teachers’ understanding of how people think and learn.
Kostelnik said Ayers was invited before he emerged as a controversial figure in the presidential campaign but that faculty members who decided to invite him, including herself, had a superficial knowledge of his past.
During a faculty discussion of whether he should be invited, his violent past “never came up,” Kostelnik said.
When his invitation was announced at a faculty meeting in August, a faculty member asked if the group knew who Ayers is. Kostelnik said more research was done on his radical activities, and the group that decided to invite him stuck with its initial decision.
“The group was very clear to me they were purely interested in his research perspectives,” she said.

I’d love for one of these pinheads to define a “quality education” and what the hell someone like Bill Ayers has to substantively say about educational “research”.

I like Regent Ferlic more and more as I think about what he had to say about the arrogance. But he had even more to add:

If the university invites Ayers to speak on educational reform, he said, perhaps the university might want to consider having Osama bin Laden to speak about religion.

This is not about a Democrat or Republican issue, or the elections. This is about the University of Nebraska, and we should not allow staining of the people’s university.

Amen, brother! This guy deserves a Bozo button, a medal, something. This is real straight talk. Meanwhile other university Regents, the President of the University, for Pete’s sake, and the state’s governor, were all doing the political tap dance of offering a negative opinion but stating that their respective offices provided no outlet for stopping Ayers’ attending the event. Can anyone say “No controlling legal authority?” Good grief.

Citing “safety concerns”, the invitation was rescinded on Monday of this week. A pointy-headed spokesperson breathlessly informed that there had been threats of violent disruption, even a vague death threat against Ayers. Ok, maybe, but likely poppeycock. There have been reports that big money donors threatened to withhold funding if Ayers visited the campus.

I’d withhold my funds anyway. I know that after listening to the staements of some of these university people, I’m still not going to consider sending any of my kids to the school, rescinded invitation or no. And like my phone call, I’m going to be sure to let them know why. I actually think this issue, the world of academia is the biggest threat to our society. The whole sorry situation with Ayers being invited to UNL and its fallout is a beautiful illustration of why. I’m just mightily embarrassed that it happened in my state.

Of course, it’s obviously not the only thing to be embarrassed about. South Dakota’s looking reeeaaal good right about now….

Did Barney Frank Contribute a New Word to the Political Lexicon? Did He Say “Changeinism”?

A new word for our political dictionary?

A new word for our political dictionary?

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On Monday of this week, Rep. Barney Frank spoke about a stimulus package recently proposed by House Democrats:

I think at this point, there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending. At this time, I think deficit fear needs to take a second seat. I do think this is a very important time for a very big dose of changeinism[?].

Yes, I believe later on, there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I believe there are a lot of rich people out there who we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money.

On Glenn Beck’s Tuesday radio show, Glenn discussed these statements with the show’s producer, Stu, when both discovered Frank’s apparently newly coined word. And it’s a gem. On the first two rounds of listening to the audio clip, it sounded as if Frank may have been saying “changelism”.

Stu pondered whether or not the word “changelism” means “change by vandalism”.

The show’s first caller postulated that the word new word was a combination of socialism + change.

The second caller speculated that Frank really meant that the country needs a big dose of Keynesianism. The theory of Keynesian economics was largely employed during the New Deal. A number of Keynesian principles have been with us ever since (think the Fed). The central tenet of this theory is that government intervention in the economy promotes prosperity and stability.

Stu’s and the callers’ theories are viable prospects. “Vandalism + change”, upon examination, is a good candidate because Barack Obama and the Congressional leadership are promoting a policy that could be construed as vandalism ala Robin Hood; we all know that Obama’s central campaign theme has been that of “change”. By “spreading the wealth around” through higher taxation of anyone with an income over $250,000, and giving a “tax credit” to 95% of Americans, 40% of whom pay no income taxes at all, Obama / Robin Hood promises to steal (hence, vandalism) from the rich and give to the poor. Delving further into the vandalism theme, one could also say that these tax policies would cap or discourage the level of achievement to which business owners and workers would aspire, cause the loss of jobs when small businesses have to lay off workers to pay the higher taxes, slow down spending by the rich on goods and services made and performed by workers, and thereby wreck the economy. This would be a change, that’s for sure, and wrecking something is vandalism. Hence, change by vandalism.

The second viable intrepretation, change + socialism, would fit Barack Obama and the Congressional leadership’s proposed plans. Outright socialism would certainly be a change for America. Although many of these kinds of policies have been creeping into government by stealth for many years, there is a historical American antipathy for openly, unabashedly admitting that certain policies are socialist.

The third proposed intrepretation is “Keynesian”. The interventionist, tinkering policies employed to head off and lessen the Great Depression have continued to be used by degrees ever since the early 1930’s, are certainly already being used to deal with the “financial meltdown” and their expansion are being aggressively advocated by Washington leadership.

Perhaps it was Frank’s speech impediment. Perhaps he misspoke. Did he coin a new word? He probably meant “Keynesianism”. It’s unlikely a clarification will be called for, much less answered. In any case, “changeinism” is at least more entertaining. If we’re going to go down in flames as a country, it would be nice to at least have fun doing it, right?

Unfortunately, there is no misconstruing the remainder of his statement. The ridiculous policy measures Frank is proposing are exactly the wrong thing to do at this time. They come at a moment when the United States has for the first time in its history ecrued a $1 trillion deficit in one year. Because of the continuing massive overspending, the country’s creditors are considering downgrading the country’s credit rating. A number of nations are calling for “a new world order” and even one world currency.  Dangerous and unprecedented powers have been granted to the same administration officials whose Keynesian-style tinkering with the country’s financial system helped sew the sides of a financial meltdown. These powers were granted despite the vast majority of the public rising up in efforts to prevent it. In the legislative branch, the very same corrupt politicians who are not being called into account for their aggressive advocating and engineering of the very policies that led to the mortgage meltdown are now leading the way to “fix it”. There is now an astounding volume of money being churned off the printing presses to fund all of the bailouts and forced government purchases of shares in private banks. The unchecked flood of currency into the financial system can lead no where but to massive inflation, perhaps on levels found only in such places as Zimbabwe or the Weimar Republic.

Yeah right, we really need a big dose of “changeinism” or a bigger dose of Keynesiam, as semi-defined by Barney Frank. But that doesn’t actually seem like change at all. Ironically, it’s a continuation and expansion of the abysmal failure of the current administration’s and Congressional leadership’s policies. Maybe that’s what changeinism really means. If Frank was attempting to contribute a new word the American political lexicon, perhaps it was the much-touted change hybrized with “continuism” and “expanison” to disguise the actually villified “more of the same”.