Thursday, November 29, 2012

RANDOM SHOTS - Atheist Attacks, ObamaCare Goes To Court Again, and More!

Supreme Court Orders Review Of Liberty University's ObamaCare Challenge

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a Federal Appeals Court to reconsider Liberty University’s legal argument that the ObamaCare law violates the school’s religious freedom.

The case will be returned to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

"Today’s ruling breathes new life into our challenge to ObamaCare," said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which filed the suit on behalf of the school. "Our fight against ObamaCare is far from over."

A federal judge in 2010 rejected Liberty’s claim, and the Appeals Court later ruled the lawsuit was premature and failed to address the substance of the school's arguments.

The Supreme Court upheld Obama's health care law in June 2012.

In the high court’s 5-4 decision, the justices used lawsuits filed by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to uphold the health care law, then rejected all other pending appeals, including Liberty's.

The school is challenging the constitutionality of the part of the law that mandates employers provide insurance and whether forcing insurers to pay for birth control is unconstitutional under the First Amendment’s free exercise of religion clause.

The appeals court ruled last year the Anti-Injunction Act barred it from addressing the merits in the case.

The act blocks any challenge to a "tax" before a taxpayer pays it - in this case referring to the penalties associated with failing to obtain health insurance.

However, the Supreme Court’s ruling stated the act did not serve as a barrier to lawsuits challenging the health care law. On that basis, Liberty University immediately petitioned the court to allow it to renew its original case.

Monday's Supreme Court order for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to study the constitutionality of Obamacare’s employer requirements for health care as well its mandatory coverage of contraceptives is a chance that the program will be ruled unconstitutional.

Atheist Practice Religious Persecution Of Christians

Near to this small place we call Glencoe, I know that Christmas and Christians are doing well.

I know that the American Legion Calaveras Post 376 will be having a Christmas Celebration for kids and families in this rural area on December 21st at 6pm. There will be snacks and even Santa will show up for the kids.

Columbia State Historic Park is decorated for the Christmas season with traditional boughs and wreaths, and docents will be decked out in their old-time finery. If you're there, I hope you have a camera for a picture with Father Christmas at the Tibbits House.

Children and others will be singing Christmas carols. Free carriage rides will be offered on Main Street and gingerbread houses will be on display at the Columbia House Restaurant.

The Merry Merchants event is hosted by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and is fun for all ages.

Friends of Rail Road Flat will host a holiday benefit concert from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Mokelumne Hill Town Hall on Main Street.

All proceeds will go to Mokelumne Hill, Rail Road Flat and West Point Elementary schools.

Valley Springs Craft Faire and Parade begins at 10 a.m. at California and Chestnut streets. Santa Claus will be present.

Angels Camp Holiday Festival and Christmas Parade – the Festival goes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

There will be live music, hay rides, children’s art and food will be available. Tree lighting will occur at 5 p.m. A variety of events will be held downtown throughout the day.

Hospice of Calaveras and Amador Tree of Lights – Tree lighting at 5 p.m. at the Hospice Calaveras Thrift Store, 570 N. Main St. Santa, music, candle lighting and refreshments will be available.

So while other places are being invaded by leftist and Atheist who are on a mission to destroy Christmas and have it repealed as a Federal Holiday, we here in this part of Calaveras County and the Gold Country can Thank God that we don't live in places where cities are bending to the demands a few inherently cold hearted individuals.

And yes, Atheist are extremely evil people. Evil because they practice something that goes to the heart of America's founding. Atheist fervently practice religious persecution.

Atheist in America today endorse and participate in the systematic mistreatment of Christians as a response to their lack of religious beliefs. Its as if they don't want others to have beliefs and morality if they don't.

Yes, Americans understand that there is a separation between church and state. The reason that this was established was so that the state doesn't establish a national religion. Americans understand this because they are smart enough to know that that would have lead to the persecution of others who wanted to worship in their own ways.

But, Americans also know that there is nothing in the United States Constitution that says the government, or agents of the government can attack or impede Americans from practicing their religions. Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion.

A report by two U.S.-based religious freedom groups says anti-Christian persecution is on the rise in America.

The joint report by Texas-based Liberty Institute and Washington-based Family Research Council says groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and other Atheist groups aren’t the only culprits. The report says government agencies around the U.S. are trying to push Christian expression out the door.

Liberty Institute Founder Kelly Shackleford, of the recent hike in reported incidents of persecution. “I have been doing these types of cases for almost 25 years now. I have never seen the levels of attacks like these and how quickly they are now proliferating.”

Shackleford says government, from schools to social programs, is the ringleader.

"There are children being prohibited from writing Merry Christmas to the soldiers, senior citizens being banned from praying over their meals in the Senior Center, the VA banning the mention of God in military funerals, numerous attempts to have veterans memorials torn down if they have any religious symbols such as a cross, and I could go on and on," Shackleford said.

In August 2011, the Houston, Texas, veterans’ cemetery director issued an order banning the word "God" from being said at military or veteran funerals at the facility.

A pastor and family members of deceased veterans had to eventually file a Federal lawsuit alleging that the Houston National VA Cemetery is discriminating against their religious freedoms.

The suit alleged that cemetery administrator Arleen Ocasio required pastor Scott Rainey to edit a Memorial Day prayer so that the prayer was "general, and its fundamental purpose [was] nondenominational in nature."

Christian civil rights organization ACLJ senior counsel David French says the exact rate of increase is hard to determine, but many of the new cases come from colleges.

"Our knowledge of incidents is only as good as the reporting," French says. "However, it’s clear that – particularly on college and university campuses – we have seen a significant rise in attempts to silence Christian organizations by the misapplication of nondiscrimination laws."

Mr French adds that many public facilities are also covering over Christianity.

"One of the most strident examples: the misuse of the Establishment Clause to attempt to ban any mention of God from historical markers, monuments or even museum exhibits. This represents an effort to whitewash God from American history and change our national identity."

It was reported in February of this year that the City of New York was attempting to cancel the leases of all church and religious groups renting city facilities.

"Our view is that public school buildings, which are funded by taxpayers’ dollars, should not be used as houses of worship," said Marge Feinberg, spokeswoman for New York City’s Department of Education. "Public school space cannot and should not be used for worship services, especially because school space is not equally available to all faiths."

When I first read this, I was amazed that they were trying to do this considering that a church renting a city building is no different than any other private citizen or organization renting the building.

What are they going to do, ask everyone who wants to rent a hall from the City of New York their religious preference - and only allow those who have no religion to rent from the city? It's stupidity like that that makes me wonder where is the sanity!

Shackleford says the attacks are becoming violent, too.

“The recent attacks on the faith-based Family Research Council and the attack on the Sikhs are recent examples alone,” Shackleford says.

He also cites an example of a city trying to push out its Jewish residents.

"In one case I was involved in, a city literally tried to zone out Orthodox Jews from the city. An official city meeting perpetrated this. Some said, ‘Hitler should have finished the job.’”

Among the violations listed in the joint report:
•A federal judge threatened “incarceration” to a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.

•City officials prohibited senior citizens from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.

•A public school official physically lifted an elementary school student from his seat and reprimanded him in front of his classmates for praying over his lunch.

•Following U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ policies, a federal government official sought to censor a pastor’s prayer, eliminating references to Jesus, during a Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans at a national cemetery.

•Public school officials prohibited students from handing out gifts because they contained religious messages.

•A public school official prevented a student from handing out fliers inviting her classmates to an event at her church.

•A public university’s law school banned a Christian organization because it required its officers to adhere to a statement of faith that the university disagreed with.

•The U.S. Department of Justice argued before the Supreme Court that the federal government can tell churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis it can hire and fire.

•The State of Texas sought to approve and regulate what religious seminaries can teach.

•Through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, the federal government is forcing religious organizations to provide insurance for birth control and abortion-inducing drugs in direct violation of their religious beliefs.

•The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs banned the mention of God from veterans’ funerals, overriding the wishes of the deceased’s families.

•A federal judge held that prayers before a state House of Representatives could be to Allah but not to Jesus.

 Where a person's religion often determines to a significant extent his or her morality and personal identity, Atheist believe in nothing and subsequently have no basis for standards of morality.   Yes, that is the reason that Atheist persecute Christians at every turn. They attack without guilt or reason just like those who persecuted the Jews in Germany during the 1930s and 40s. 
Like Hitler's Nazi persecution of Jews and Catholics, Atheists are the new Nazis with a zeal to kill off any trace of Christianity in America.

Religious persecution is religious bigotry. It is the denigration of the Christian practitioner because he or she does not believe as the hate filled Atheist activist does.

Atheist view Christians as a threat to their interests in the very same way that Nazis under Hitler viewed Jews as a threat to Germany. Their constant attacks on anything representative of the Christian belief in America is religious persecution.

Just as other forms of racism and bigotry should not be tolerated and are cconsidered human rights issues, so should the Atheist well funded attacks on Christians - and any symbol of Christianity like Christmas

Arizona Declines to Set up State-based Health Insurance Exchange

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, an ardent critic of President Barack Obama's push to overhaul the U.S. health care system, said on Wednesday she was rejecting a new federal mandate to set up a state-based health insurance exchange under the U.S. Affordable Care Act - aka ObamaCare.

Citing lingering unanswered questions about the exchanges and concerns about high costs she said would be passed on to Arizona families and small businesses, Brewer, a Republican, said her state would opt instead for a federally run exchange.

Such networks are designed to function as online insurance markets where consumers can shop for private coverage at federally subsidized rates, and are an integral provision of the act, a centerpiece of Obama's first term in office.

Under a newly extended deadline, states have until December 14th to notify the U.S. Health and Human Services Department whether they intend to comply with the insurance exchange mandate or leave it to the federal government to set up and operate exchanges for them.

About 17 states have told the Obama administration they plan to move ahead on their own exchanges, while at least nine Republican governors in recent days have rejected the plan outright, as Brewer has, or opted to cooperate with Washington in setting up a hybrid federal-state network.

"My opposition to the Affordable Care Act is unwavering, as is my belief that it should be repealed and replaced," Brewer said in a statement announcing her decision.

Two Sentenced in Fast and Furious Federal Gun-Running Case

No it wasn't Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder as many people hope, but two people have been sentenced to a few years behind bars for their roles in the Federal gun smuggling ring that was part of the Obama administration's failed Operation Fast and Furious.

The U.S. Justice Department says Jacob Anthony Montelongo was sentenced Monday in Phoenix to nearly 3 1/2 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and dealing guns without a license. Sean Christopher Steward received a nine-year sentence for conspiracy and lying.

During the Fast and Furious operation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents hoped to track illegally obtained weapons to high-level arms traffickers, but authorities lost track of more than 2,700 guns.

Many are right now being used to kill innocent civilians on both sides of the border. Just something else that Obama doesn't seem to care about.

So far, the operation led to congressional inquiries and little else.

It was exposed after two of the illegally obtained weapons were found at the scene of the 2010 fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Western Senators ask Justice Department to Oil Companies

Six Pacific state senators are asking the Justice Department to investigate whether oil refineries manipulated the price of gasoline when it hit near-record prices in the region from May through October.

The price was more than $4 a gallon during that period and broke the $5 mark last month in California, even though the price of crude oil has been declining.

Analysts have said the near-record prices were the result of refinery problems. But the senators point to a review of California refinery emissions data showing inconsistencies between the time refineries were producing petroleum products and when maintenance shutdowns were publicly reported.

The politicians said misleading reports of shutdowns could have created a perceived shortage of gasoline.

I wonder if those liberal senators will acknowledge out of control federal and state taxation on a gallon is the reason that gas is so high and not some sort of oil refinery manipulation of the price of gasoline?

Probably not. Remember, as far as liberals are concerned - oil companies are an easy scapegoat for Democrats who want to get the focus off the increased taxes put on the public at the pumps.

Story by Tom Correa

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RANDOM SHOTS - Sandra Fluke, Obama and the Fiscal Cliff, ObamaCare, and More!

Sandra Fluke's Extreme Promiscuity Pays Off Big Time

First she testified in front of Congress to say that she spent over $3000 on birth control during her three years at Georgetown Law. Then she was picked by the Democrat Party as their poster-girl of new-age promiscuity and actually gave the doll-eyed Fluke the microphone to speak at their Convention.

She has appeared on magazine covers and on talk shows like The View and so on. Well now there is more! And yes, this is too funny!

All of the money that she spent on birth control, and no there is no word if she needed to pay for multiple abortions, is all paying off big time.

Yes, this is really a big deal when we consider that her singular accomplishment in life is needing government assistance to have sex because she spent $1000 a year for condoms and such while in Law School.

Imagine what she has done to become famous? Imagine her road to stardom and fame? Heck, her whole persona is built around the fact that she sleep around so much that she needs government assistance to do what she does in the future.

Now Sandra Fluke, who by the way is now being billed as a "feminist activist" instead of "sex activist," is now being considered for Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

No kidding, it's true. Fluke, pronounced "Fluck" at Georgetown University, is one of 40 contenders who have been nominated to grace the cover of Time as its Person of the Year.

Fluke makes a list of luminaries that includes President Obama, Mitt Romney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and many others who haven't done anything noteworthy.

Fluke's nomination might come as a surprise to some, but not to the guys at Georgetown Law. It is rumored that she has been the person of the year at Georgetown Law for at least 4 years.

I received an e-mail telling me that Sandra Fluck is very "popular" there. That explains a lot, especially when you consider that the not very attractive and somewhat vacant looking Fluck spent $1000 a year on condoms and other birth control while attending Law School.

To answer some of your e-mail, I can honestly say that don't know how she found time for classes. Yes, I agree with those writing me, $1000 a year on condoms is an astronomical amount. And no, I don't know how many Prostitutes are attending school at Georgetown Law.

I always assumed that sexually active co-eds weren't as sexually active as someone who would need to have the government subsidize what they do. It appears from what Fluke said that there might be others like her who are extremely promiscuous who need  government subsidies to have sex.

The winner of Times Person of the Year will be announced on December 14th.

Since spending $1000 a year on condoms is a great deal of money, I just can't help but wonder if there are hundreds of guys attending Georgetown Law who will want bragging rights to say they know Time's Person of the Year.

Yep, I can only do the math and wonder!

What Will More Taxes On The Rich Get Us?

President Obama’s plan to end the Bush-era tax cuts for families earning more than $250,000 a year would finance the U.S. government for only eight days, says Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price.

"The president's plan to increase taxes on the upper 2 percent (of American earners) covers the spending by this federal government not for eight years, not for eight months – not for eight weeks, but for eight days," Rep Price, the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, told MSNBC.

The Obama tax-rate plan would generate only $82.3 billion a year, according to estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, Price said.

The Bush-era tax rates expire and massive spending cuts automatically kick under sequestration on January 2nd.

"Eight days only," Rep Price told MSNBC. "It's not a real solution. I’m puzzled by an administration that seems to be more interested in raising tax rates than in gaining economic vitality."
A more balanced approach – which includes cuts to federal spending on such programs as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security – is what Obama should be focused on, he said.

The tax increases and spending cuts would total about $500 billion next year, Fox News reports.

In addition, about $1.2 trillion will be cut from the federal budget over 10 years should both sides fail to reach a deal to keep the nation from going over the so-called fiscal cliff.

ObamaCare Should Be On The Table As Well!

Democrats have gone back on their word and have already started cutting Medicare. They did earlier this year with ObamaCare's automatically started $716 Billion in cuts from Medicare.

Back in August, Obama declared that his proposed reforms "won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime."

But facts are facts and this was a lie. Fact is that ObamaCare cuts $716 billion from Medicare over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and uses these "savings" from Medicare to fund other entitlement expansions mandated by ObamaCare.

Medicare becomes a cash cow for ObamaCare, and the Medicare "savings" from payment cuts are not put back into making Medicare solvent. Such massive payment cuts do impact Medicare benefits, as well as seniors’ access to those benefits.

To me, it seems apparent that America is trying to fund ObamaCare by taking from Medicare and seniors.

Why not make cuts to ObamaCare before it's fully implemented in 2014? Why not fix Medicare and Social Security and leave it's essential services alone? Why not shift the focus on making cuts to ObamaCare before it gets off the ground?

Initially, the government said they needed to provide health care coverage for a 5% of the American public. So why create this huge dictatorial program that is going to effect 100% of the public and takes from programs that need the funds?

Why can't someone in Congress come up with Amendments to the ObamaCare Law stopping it from sucking so much money out of the system?

It seems to me that all of the problems that we are having with this so-called "fiscal cliff" stems from the government wanting to fund ObamaCare.

And I ask you this, if Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Veteran Hospital funding, Military funding, and all the rest are said to be on the table to take a look at for cuts, then shouldn't ObamaCare be on the table as well? 

Black Friday Gun Sales Set Record for Second Year

Can you tell that people are still wiry of Obama and his so-called promises not to go after guns?

Americans know full well that Obama is going to treat his next four years as if he has a mandate to work his agenda. Obama may lie all he wants to, and that's fine because people are on to him.

Gun sales on Black Friday set a record for the second year, as firearm dealers seeking required background check requests shut down FBI calls centers twice.

The FBI said on Monday that it fielded 154,873 calls on Black Friday, up about 20 percent over last year’s previous one-day record of 129,166, USA Today reports.

The requests for background checks were so numerous that FBI call centers experienced two brief outages, one lasting 18 minutes and another 14 minutes, FBI spokesman Stephen Fischer said.

The FBI does not track actual gun sales, but Fischer told USA Today that the number of firearms sold on Friday was likely higher because multiple firearms could be included in one transaction by a single buyer.

Dealers said the continuing gun surge was affected by an increase in women buyers and concerns that lawmakers in President Obama’s second term might impose stricter gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons.

One reporter said that "Obama did not offer any such proposals during the campaign."

But that's a lie, fact is that Obama said that he would like to revive the so-called assault weapons ban in the townhall debate with Mitt Romney. The spin from the left never stops so don't believe when they say something like "Obama did not offer any proposals during the campaign" because he did so.

“With the recent election, some people are making buying decisions just in case something (a new law) happens,” Don Gallardo, manager of Shooter’s World in Phoenix, told USA Today.

Gallardo’s store posted a 10 percent increase in Black Friday sales, he said.

Buyers cited similar reasons right after Obama won his first term in 2008, Gallardo told USA Today.

At Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., salesman Greg Ebert said his store has seen more purchases by women.

“Women have taken a strong interest in shooting sports,” Ebert told USA Today. “I think they see target shooting and other shooting sports as another form of relaxation.”

That might be well and good, but there is no denying the fact that fear of what Obama will do in the future remains the number one reason for the majority of gun sales in America.

Colorado County Considers Banning Panning For Gold 

Prospectors during widespread Gold Rushes in the 1800s are credited with settling land and developing commerce in several Western states, including Colorado.

However 200 years later, officials in one Colorado county say amateur prospectors panning for gold on county land have become such a nuisance they are considering banning the practice.

9News reports officials in Larimer county say they will vote vote on banning widespread prospecting next month after a significant increase in panning.

"There's certainly an uptick," Dan Rieves, visitor services manager for Larimer County, told 9News. "There's rangers that we've had out in the field who have been working here for 10, 15 years that have contacted more people out prospecting in the past 18 months than they have in their entire career."

The vote would lead "minerals" to be added to a list of things that already can't be removed from county land. Officials say the county is not anti-prospecting, and may consider setting up specific prospecting zones or times in the future if the ban is passed.

"We're really just trying to put that regulatory structure in place, and kind of slow things down," Rieves told 9News.

This all doesn't surprise me since that state did vote overwhelmingly for Obama. Check behind the curtain and you'll find out that liberal environmentalist are behind any effort to restrict what can be taken out of a river or steam.

No it certainly doesn't surprise me. After all, Colorado is turning into East California!

Story by Tom Correa

Sunday, November 25, 2012

RANDOM SHOTS - Don't Ignore The Signs, Sandy Victims Angry Over Latest Insult, Union Comment Response, and much more!

Don't Ignore The Signs!

No, I'm not talking about knowing the difference between someone you can trust, or a conservative with traditional values versus spotting a liberal who thinks taking for himself is the new "OK", or one of Obama's lies.

No, I'm talking about something bigger than that. I'm talking about the reason that I've been unable to post anything since last Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, I posted a short article on the EPA using fake names and fictitious e-mail accounts. After having coffee and feeding the horses, I made a list of things I needed to get done while my wife was gone on her trip with her mother, then attempted to finish an article before my wife came home.

My wife Deanna and I arrived at our American Legion at around two in the afternoon. After checking the stock and restocking some of the bar, I checked the cash box and was getting ready to head home when Chris Zahniser - who is my number one go to volunteer bartender these days - showed up early. He was set to open at 4, but gets there early.

As I was talking with Chris, my chest started to tighten up and a numbing pain sort of shot to my back. The soreness reminded me of pulling a shoulder muscle.

Instead of leaving right away, I went into the office and got on the website for the Legion and updated upcoming events and such. The soreness in my chest had lightened up some. I just thought it might be a little stress so I didn't pay it too much mind.

After returning home, Deanna went in to start fixing dinner and I went out to feed. I was thinking about another article on horse care or maybe one on feeding right. Then I thought about writing something about the new horse that we've picked up recently. Another refugee looking for a home sure, but he's also my replacement for my boy Murphy who I lost last year.

Since starting this blog, I've tried to get out as many articles on all sorts of different subjects. I've tried putting out as many as I've had the time to do. The Old West, American history, horses, cattle, and of course what's going on around us on the political scene are my favorite topics. But really, it seems as though the election absorbed most of my efforts.

I went to bed early for a change and slept uncomfortably all night  The pain just wouldn't go away.

At eight on Wednesday morning, I picked up my mom and drove to Placerville. After meeting with my sister Joan and her husband Ray, we talked awhile and had breakfast. We joked about Holiday stress giving me chest pains.

After they left, I found myself on Highway 50 driving West. I wanted to stop at a tack store in Shingle Springs, but instead kept driving for the VA Hospital at Mather Field about 10 miles away. I decided that I needed someone to take a look at what's going on with the tightness and pain in my chest.

When I walked into the ER, the folks there took me right in and immediately hooked me up to take an EKG. They took blood and asked a bunch of questions from family history, to time duration of the pain, to my personal medical history, you name it.

And no, some of the questions weren't asked just once or twice, I was asked to describe the pain and how it all took place about a half dozen times by more than just two or three doctors. These folks were treating me as if I were someone important! No kidding!

Nitro under the tongue, aspirin, oxygen, all helped to reduce the pain. Though the EKG didn't look too bad, soon the first blood work came back with some not so good results.  An enzyme was too high.

The enzyme numbers indicated a cardiac "incident." It indicated something was not right with my heart.

Now, I know that there are a few folks out there who will say that that is no great surprise - but it was something that most folks don't like to know about.

I figured being over-weight and having a family history of heart troubles finally caught up with me. My mother has congestive heart disease and it wasn't but a couple of years ago that my old brother went through open heart surgery, so I figured it was my time.

My normal excuses weren't washing at the moment. Writing, reading, and researching for my blog; my having a bad back, my this, my that, have all contributed to too much sedentary and not enough activity .

I didn't think I was that sedentary. But at that moment, I figured I must be.

Prior to being on that gurney, I really thought that my working my horses, unloading feed, working around the place digging post holes, mending fences, fixing this and that, combined with my volunteering and running around for the Legion would be enough to to offset how much time I spend in front of the computer.

On that gurney in ER, yes, I realized how wrong I was.

Because that enzyme was high, they admitted me and started running blood test every 6 hours. I was told that they were watching what that enzyme does. If it rises than the heart might have a lot of damage, but if it lowers on its own than the heart might not have the problems suspected such as severe blockages.

My wife arrived while I was in the ER and stayed until I was settled in my room upstairs. She wanted to come and be with me on Thanksgiving, but I insisted that she go to her folks home to enjoy the day with our family. Her mom and dad, her brother and his wife and their kids are all very special to us - there was no need for both of us not to be there.

Because Thursday was Thanksgiving, the hospital wouldn't be able to preform a Cardiac Catheterization Exam until Friday morning.

A Cardiac Catheterization Exam is an invasive diagnostic test that is used to detect blockages in the arteries of the heart. The test is used to diagnose heart disease and heart attacks.

A long, thin tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery in your groin! Then a thinner tube known as a guidewire is used to guide the catheter into the various arteries of the heart.

While this is going on, your doctor will track the course of the catheter through the blood vessels by viewing moving X-ray pictures displayed on a screen that is similar to a TV monitor. 

Believe it or not, I found out later that more than One Million heart catheterization exams are performed annually in hospitals across our nation.

I found out later that the cardiac catheterization part of the exam really only refers to the catheter insertion. The cardiac catheterization is all about having an angiogram. The coronary angiogram is the X-ray picture of the arteries of the heart.

This is really incredible stuff here! I actually saw my own heart beating on their monitor!

They take a special contrast dye, and inject it into the arteries that supply blood to the heart via the catheter so that the X-rays can be taken. Imagine that!

The angiogram is used to pinpoint the location and severity of coronary artery disease, including blocked arteries and abnormalities in the heart wall.

Cardiac Catheterization is an invasive diagnostic test that is reserved for people who have a high likelihood of having heart disease or who may be having a heart attack. I read where a patient is sent for a cardiac catheterization exam only after having a positive (abnormal) noninvasive test.

In an emergency situation, including a suspected heart attack, you may be sent immediately for catheterization. Cardiac catheterization, the angiogram, helps locate the blood clot that is causing a heart attack.

On Thanksgiving, for lunch, the hospital served a plate of turkey with stuffing and green beans. It was backed with a slice of pumpkin pie.

That night, a friend brought in some of her own home cooking to enjoy. It was part of her family's Thanksgiving dinner. She shared some with me.

Her family is from Oklahoma and Louisiana. Her food reminded me of my travels down South and how much I enjoyed Southern cooking. I don't know if it is strictly a part of African American cooking or simply a part of the South, but by God she can cook. And yes, her collard greens were outstanding.

Outstanding is the perfect term to use for all of those fine folks at the Mather VA Hospital.

Upon arriving, I met an ER Tech by the name of Laroya who is a 27 year old Black women who is holding a full time job while attending Nursing School.  She has ambitions of becoming an RN. She is an great example for other 20 something year olds who only have excuses as to why they aren't trying to get ahead in life.

Then there is Doctor Taylor. He's the doctor who has been there for me on 4 occasions now. And yes, this is the first time dealing with my heart.

He is a great doctor who I fondly refer to as "Doc Alabama." It's not only because he is from Alabama, but also because of his bedside manner. Doctor Taylor would have made a great country doctor in the days when they still made house calls  - and part of their stock and trade was making you feel better about their situation.

Many folks in the ER just want to know that things will be OK. He makes folks feel that way. And yes, it is a gift that he has. One which too many doctors today are sorely lacking.

So what did I learn from this?

Well, only a fool ignores the signs of a heart attack. It is something that I really should have paid attention to on Tuesday instead of waiting almost 24 hours later. I was very stupid for not having it looked at sooner.

Yes, very stupid. My ignoring the signs and the severity of what was going on could have killed me. I got lucky in respect that all worked out all right for now. But yes, follow ups are in my near future.

Don't be stupid like me, don't ignore the signs if your heart tells you that there is something wrong. It might not be just a case of too much stress. It might be something where treatment is needed as soon as possible!

One-Party Political Control Now In 37 States

The November 6th election left more than two-thirds of states under single-party control beginning in January. With one party holding the governor’s office and majorities in both legislative chambers, it is believed that people in those states may see drastic changes.

The ultra-left New York Times reported that single-party control in at least 37 states means bold partisan agendas will likely grow over the next couple of years, and indicates voters are no longer interested in compromise even though President Barack Obama and Republicans have signaled a greater willingness to reach across the aisle.

As usual the New York Times is full of itself. Voters are interested in compromise, they're just tired of giving away the store for nothing in return.

As for Obama and the Republicans, Obama has nothing to lose and will work to try to achieve something other than the fiscally insane program known as ObamaCare - which I still believe will be repealed somehow down the road.

As for the Republicans, they better not bend over too far in an attempt to kiss the president's ass. Fact is that they are holding on to the House of Representatives and want the Senate in 2014, just two years away. They are going to need a lot if not all of those 56 million voters who stepped forward for Romney if they plan on taking the Senate - or keeping the House.

Anger them by bending over too far and they may find themselves out of a job because those conservative voters just might stay home and hand the whole shooting match over to the communist in the Democrat Party.

Republicans will control 24 states while 13 states will be controlled by Democrats.

And by the way, it's not surprising that Democrats control Legislatures in Minnesota, Oregon, and the left coast called California. Democrats in California now hold a super-majority, so yes citizens of California are expecting them to run the state right into the dirt.

I was very surprised that Colorado went to the Democrats. I really thought those folks had more sense than that. But then I was told not to blame the people who have been their for a few generations, because Colorado now has a huge number of California liberals now living there.

You can recognize them easily. They're the ones who will tell you that your border collie is really a rare tri-colored sheep on the endangered list. Yes, they are full of themselves. So yes Colorado, you might just get what you've voted for.

State governments which are split between the parties are in only 12 states, the lowest since 1952.

Some at the New York Times believe in fairy tales, because they have made the statement that politicians will likely come to realize that one-party control means there’s not as much room to spread around blame, meaning voters could retaliate and switch party control in the next election.

I say they won't care. They will try to get away with as much as they can.

The irony is that the states that have had Republican Governors have shown to have economies that are on the rise as their unemployment drops. The opposite is true for states that have Democrat Governors.

Knowing this, I can't help but wonder how far Democrats can drag down a state with no opposition at all.

Long Island Resident Angry Over Post-Sandy Electric Bills

If Katrina was handled like Sandy, the liberal mainstream media would have called for George W. Bush's impeachment!

It has been one thing after another. No preparation, no aftermath response, and government bureaucrats everywhere except with help.

Those poor people have gone without power, water, housing, food, warmth, and all they have gotten has been insult after insult.

November 1st, it was reported that Environmentalists Groups were saying "Don't Rebuild Jersey Shore."
At the same time, it was reported that looters descended on Coney Island in wake of the storm, and the mayor of New York wanted to divert needed resources to holf a marathon.

November 5th, it was reported that FEMA was unprepared to distribute even something as simple as bottled water to Hurricane Sandy victims when the storm hit. On the same day, it was reported that Post-Sandy price-gouging was taking place, and again there were evacuations ordered as second storm threatened New York.

On the 7th, a nor'easter took it blustering cold into New York and New Jersey. It threatened to swamp homes all over again, plunge neighborhoods back into darkness and inflict more misery on tens of thousands of people still reeling from Superstorm Sandy.

A day later, NYC Mayor Bloomberg ordered gasoline rationing.

Since then local governments have sent housing inspectors to red-tag homes and inform victims that they will be fined and charged if certain things are not done to fix their homes. Power companies drug their feet in getting power to the those in need, and the National Guard has never been called out like it was during Katrina to assist in taking control of looters and crime in the street.

Then on November 24th, it was being reported that some Long Island Power Authority customers are angry because they are charged for electricity in their normal electric bill despite the fact that they have spent weeks without power due to Hurricane Sandy.

That's right! Imagine the gaul it takes to do such a horrible thing!

The New York Post reported that Long Island residents received an estimated rate that covered the entire billing cycle, and the statements made no mention of potential refunds to account for the prolonged blackouts.

"I can't get LIPA to acknowledge my existence on earth to talk to me about anything," Jonathan Saporta told the paper after getting hit with $649 for a home he left in October and $281 bill for his new place. "But I guess they had power, so they could print my bills. Nice, right?"

The utility's hurricane response and preparedness has been horrible with LIPA keeping many victims of Sandy in the cold and dark for weeks on end. 

On the other side, LIPA said in its defense that the storm was worse than anyone could have imagined and that it didn't just damage outdoor electrical lines - it caused flooding that touched home and business breaker boxes. LIPA also acknowledges that an outdated computer system for keeping customers notified has added to people's frustration.

But really, some say the government-run utility should have seen it coming. It was recently criticized in a withering state report for lax preparation ahead of last year's Hurricane Irene and for the 25-year-old computer system used to pinpoint outages and update customers.

At its peak, Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to over 8.5 million customers in 10 states with New York and New Jersey bearing the brunt of the outages.

As for Mr Saporta, for his part he promised to fight the bills.

"I am not paying any of my bills, that much I promise," Saporta said. "They can put me into collections, and I'll fight them tooth-and-nail. It's simply criminal."

I don't blame him for being angry. This whole ordeal that the victims have had to endure is just criminal.

And to me, the worse was Chris Christie and Obama and others all congratulating themselves when nothing was being done yet. It was a terrible sight since they made themselves look fairly desperate and camera hungry.

Their response was their job. Their congratulating themselves was totaling uncalled for. If it was done at all, they should have waited until the all were cared for and the area rebuilt.    

Propaganda From The Unions, The Left, The Democrat Party

Regarding my post on Sunday, November 18, Kool-Aid Drinking Unions Kill Hostess, on November 23, 2012, Anonymous wrote me saying:

"Too much Fox news. Try going to the baker's website and teamster's site and read the experts' reports about Hostess by Dr. Belzer and Harry Wilson, do a little research. Hostess managers ran Hostess into the ground I am proud that the bakers said no. Unions are not the problem, hell the American middle class is because of the unions, the problem is people like you who believe that what Fox news bables about has any relevance to the facts."

When I found that comment this afternoon, I was merely going to post it under the article in the comment section - but then I decided to reply to it.

This is my reply:


Actually, I read a number of news sources besides FOX News. I do like FOX News a lot, but I really like to look at many others like NewsMax, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Town Hall, and The Mail out of London England. All have relevance on the facts.

It seems that you missed the point of my article. That being, why do unions have a real desire to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to keeping their members jobs?

The point of my article was not to address ALL of what contributed to the problems at Hostess. And yes, I read on the BCTGM union website their information that they knew the management and financial problems at Hostess. My article was to address the Union's role in striking the final blow that killed Hostess.

Sure, you are correct that management was suffering. But friend, it was the BCTGM Union who made the final blow that killed that 82 year old company. You simple can't get away with saying the union is not responsible for their closing.

And by the way, just for the record, it wasn't the AFL-CIO Teamsters who did it. They apparently saw what was happening and settled in an effort to keep the company alive.

One news agency reported, "The fear of thousands of job losses, for its own members and other unions, led the Teamsters to plead with the BCTGM to hold a secret ballot to determine if bakery workers really wanted to continue with the strike, even with the threat of closure.

Teamsters officials complained that bakery union leaders did not substantively look for a solution or engage in the process, and complained that the BCTGM called for its strike on November 9th without first notifying the Teamsters. They said that, unlike the bakery union, the Teamsters voted to "protect all jobs at Hostess."

It was in fact the BCTGM Union who refused to take less from a company that was in obvious financial trouble. The sad part is that the BCTGM knew that they were in trouble - but didn't seem to give a damn!

Ask yourself why?

Why didn't the BCTGM settle on less in an effort to keep the company going during the company's reorganization during bankruptcy? Why not wait for the company to regain its footing before asking for more? Why bleed an already in trouble company while you knew perfectly well that that company was in dire straits?

Why purposely put yourselves out of work, especially during the Holiday Season, knowing that your demands were already rejected and the company would be forced to close its doors?

As I said in my article, I both belonged to different unions in my life and I worked in security to prevent unions from taking their anger out on the places that they were striking. In security, I watched business after business close during union strikes. And yes, most times the unions stayed out for what they considered "principles" of the strike.

One of the worse that I saw was St Regis Paper Company in Union City California back in the 1980s. I saw that plant go from a place where more than a hundred people worked to being closed over .25 cents and hour difference in what was demanded and what could be paid.

In that strike, the Union got everything it demanded but would not compromise with the company over .25 cents an hour increase. The workers were going to get an increase, just not the full increase that the union demanded.

The company would be able to safe about $70,000 a year by holding back on that .25 cents for all its union workers. That would have enabled the company to hire one or two more union members if things increased as they later did throughout the economy.

The union said they didn't care about the company hiring one or two more of its members. They cared about what their union bosses wanted in showing St Regis Paper its power to bring them to their knees.

Finally St Regis advised them that they could not pay the .25 cents and would have to close the plant in Northern California if the union didn't take their offer of compromise.

After receiving the ultimatum of being closed, union members spiked the tires of the managers and shop foremen coming in to the plant parking. Then a few union members, who were late getting to the picket line, snuck around the building to the loading docks and set a rail road car on fire. The car was filled with rolls of paper delivered for processing.

The next day, the plant closed. The picket line disappeared after the first Teamster driven trucks arrived to remove the machinery.

Vandalism at the plant increased 10 fold after the picket lines were gone. I went there to check on things, and once there I was told that security was primarily concerned with the Union inciting their members to burn down the plant.

Just for the record, the security company that I worked for was Unionized. Yes, of the few different unions that I have belonged to in my life, I belonged to a Security Officers Union at the time.

Months later, I was having a drink at a Honky Tonk in the town of Niles (actually a district of the city of Fremont California) when an older man walked up to me and introduced himself as one of the strikers at the "Old" St Regis plant.

He said he recognized me and wanted to talk about the strike. He said he never thought it would come to that. He said he had 27 years invested at that plant. He said it all went down the drain because his Union was too proud to give in over a mere .25 cents an hour - which amounted to about $500 a year for the average full time worker there. He was in his late 50s and didn't have any prospects for work.

About 6 years later, I saw him working at a convenience store as a clerk behind the counter. We said hello, and said no after I asked if he went to work in another paper plant. He said he was kicked out of the union because he couldn't pay his dues after the plant closed. Besides, he said, there weren't but one other paper plant in the Bay Area at the time.

Like with St Regis Paper about 30 years ago, I feel it was greed and distrust on the part of the union bosses who encouraged the strike vote at Hostess.

I don't believe Unions have the needs of their members in their best interest, the bosses have themselves in their best interest. They know that Union meetings usually have the same guys show up most of the time, and these power hungry bosses want to climb the Union ladder know how to influence those few who vote and keep them in power.

As for your assertion that the Unions built the Middle-Class in America, World War II built America's Middle Class. At the end of the war, the GI Bill enabled education benefits for people who prior to WW II would not have had the opportunities to go to school and make something more of themselves.

That combined with a new found buying power on the side of consumers divided America into more than just the old saw of "the haves and have nots." It created a vibrant Middle-Class America that has become the majority of our society.

And please don't make it sound like all of the rich during the Great Depression were Republicans, over 40% of all of the wealthy people in America during that time were in fact Democrats.

What that means is that over 40% of the wealthy were part of "the haves" that the Democrat Party likes to make the American people think were all Republicans.

Democrats like John F. Kennedy, who once said "the only thing he knew about the Great Depression was what he read in the papers," did little for working Americans during the 1930s.

And please don't say that he wasn't in a position to help working folks working at the time, fact is that John F. Kennedy was born into one of the wealthiest families in America. It is also a fact that in 1938, on his 21st birthday, he was given One Million Dollars by his father.

One million dollars is a big deal now, but back in 1938 it was worth even more. In today's dollars, that was $17 Million dollars today.

While unions have not been the whole problem with shutting down companies like Hostess, unions have never been all that public spirited.

And no, it doesn't surprise me that a lot of people - especially old timers - have a poor opinion of unions. In the spring of 1941, American defense plants were swept with a wave of strikes.

When I was in West Allis, Wisconsin, I found out that the Allis-Chalmers plant which manufactured turbine engines for US Navy Destroyers went on one of the most bitter strikes in history and adversely effecting how many U.S. Navy Destroyers would be built in 1941.

US Destroyers used to get conveys to Great Britain were not available because of labor unions.

In fact, unions did very little to help the War Effort during World War II. In fact just prior to America's entry into the war as a combatant, more than 3,500 strikes took place throughout 1941 when America was ramping up its defense production capabilities. In 1941, union strikes cut defense production by a full 25% of what it should have been. 

In 2011, the union membership rate - the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of a union - was 11.8 percent, essentially unchanged from 11.9 percent in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, at 14.8 million, also showed little movement over the year. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent and there were 17.7 million union workers.

This shows a drastic decrease in union membership across the country. And to top that, the biggest group of union workers is not in the private sector at all.

Of the 11.8% of Americans in the union today, government workers have a union membership rate of 37 percent. That's more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers with 6.9 percent.

Maybe the reasons that less Americans are going into the unions have to do with how the unions preform their jobs and treat their members? Maybe the union habit of worrying too much about politics and greed has caught up to them?

Their attitude of always looking out for what's good for them before anyone else has turned off a lot of Americans. They seem to care less about what's good for their paid members, like me who once needed help from my union, and more about their own interest.

As for their reputation in America today, I really believe that their exposure of trying to insert their influence into matters that have very little to do the interests of their membership - and have more with politics and a left agenda - has put unions in a bad light.

A lot of people see unions as more part of the problem than the solution, especially when it comes to its control on public services through hostile union actions like wanting to shut down essential city and national services if their demands aren't met. 

And by the way, if you think that people like me "who believe that what Fox news babels about has any relevance to the facts" are the problem, then I'm sorry to inform you that the really nice part of being Americans is that we have the ability to discern the truth from multiple sources.

Americans are no longer held hostage by having to listen to liberal mouthpieces that guys like you want people to hear. It would be great for folks like you, the liberals, the Democrat Party, the Unions, the Occupy Movement, the anti-Christians, the Atheist, the anti-American revisionists, those on the left, to completely monopolize the news for your own advantage.

Sorry Anonymous, but it's not happening. Like it or not, today many Americans are smarter and a lot more informed. Today, we don't have to buy into the propaganda that guys like you put out. We don't need to watch or read or listen to the official line from the left.  We don't have to buy into the union line anymore.

If Americans care to, today we have all sorts of information sources to better understand the issues. The key is our desire to research and not just accept what a union or a company has to offer in the way of information. Good non-biased information is out there if we look.

I believe that this last election showed that 56 Million Americans were not drinking the Kool-Aid and actually put the nation's best interest ahead of the Obama socialist agenda.

In contrast, 58 Million Americans voted for their own best interest knowing that Obama would pay them back somehow. Their vote shows that more people than thought would prostitute themselves and throw the next generation under the bus.

That's just how I see it!

Story by Tom Correa

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

House Investigates EPA Bosses using Phony Names & Secret E-mail Accounts

OK, so for us Cowboy types who need to understand things fully before we jump on someone for doing things shady, let's take a quick look at the job of the EPA.

Don't worry, it's not that long a description.

According to the EPA's own website, the mission of EPA (Environmental Protection Administration) is "to protect human health and the environment."

That's there mission, that's it. They say their "purpose is to ensure that:

•all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
•national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
•federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
•environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
•all parts of society - communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments - have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
•environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and
•the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment."

To accomplish this mission, they say the EPA is tasked to:
"Develop and Enforce Regulations - When Congress writes an environmental law, we implement it by writing regulations. Often, we set national standards that states and tribes enforce through their own regulations. If they fail to meet the national standards, we can help them. We also enforce our regulations, and help companies understand the requirements."

They say they accomplish their mission through Grants, Environmental Studies, partnership up with other groups, Educate people about who is screwing up the environment, and of course regulate everyone and everything in the United States that uses water, air, walks on the land.

Actually, they regulate our: Air, Water, Land, Pesticides, Toxic Substances, Cleanup, Emergencies, and what is termed Cross-Cutting Issues that my have more than one government agency involved.

From manufacturing to agriculture to building America's infrastructure, the EPA has their hand in it.

Yes, they regulate many - if not all - sectors of the American Economy. From what I've learned over the years, the EPA regulates almost everything.

In Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, they regulate:
  • Agriculture Crop Production (NAICS 111)
  • Animal Production (NAICS 112), and
  • Forestry and Logging (NAICS 113). 
The EPA regulates:
  • Construction (NAICS 23),
  • Educational Services (NAICS 61), 
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance (NAICS 62), 
  • Manufacturing (NAICS 31-33),
  • Aerospace (NAICS 332 and 336),
  • Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS 325),
  • Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing (NAICS 334),
  • Food Processing (NAICS 311),
  • Furniture Manufacturing (NAICS 337), 
  • Primary Metal Manufacturing (NAICS 331) and
  • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (NAICS 332),
  • Mineral Processing (Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing) (NAICS 327),
  • Petroleum (NAICS 324),
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing (NAICS 3254),
  • Plastics and Rubber Products Manufacturing (NAICS 326),
  • Printing and Related Support Activities (NAICS 323),
  • Shipbuilding (Transportation Equipment Manufacturing) (NAICS 336),
  • Textile Manufacturing (NAICS 313),
  • Wood Product Manufacturing (NAICS 321), and
  • Paper Manufacturing (Paper, Pulp, and Lumber) (NAICS 322),
  • Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction Sectors (NAICS 21),
  • Mining (except Oil and Gas) (NAICS 212),
  • Oil and Gas Extraction (NAICS 211),
  • Public Administration (NAICS 92),
  • American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal Governments (NAICS 921150),
  • Federal Facilities (Executive Offices) (NAICS 921110),
  • International Affairs (NAICS 928120),
  • Local Governments (Executive Offices) (NAICS 921110),
  • Other Services (except Public Administration) (NAICS 81),
  • Automotive Repair and Maintenance (NAICS 8111),
  • Dry Cleaning (NAICS 8123), and
  • Retail Trade (NAICS 44). 
But wait, they also regulate the Retail Industry Portal:
  • Transportation (NAICS 48-49),
  • Utilities (NAICS 22), and
  • Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution (NAICS 2211).
Fact is, no matter how they spin it - they understand their power. And yes, for good reason, they have more power to stifle economic progress than any other department in the United States Government.

Some are asking if it is too much power concentrated in one department. Laws written by Congress provide the authority for EPA to write regulations. And yes, some are asking if it's not time to reign in the EPA and it's powerful hold on American lives and businesses.

Ask yourself this, why are their regulations based on mainly subjective data instead of objective scientific data? Why are they so willing to impose recommended practices yet quickly withdraw those recommendations after Congress started questioning their own practice?

This was the case earlier this year when they tried to stop young people from working on their own family farms? A huge outcry arose and the EPA withdrew it's new regulation regarding that issue?

Where did their decision to evoke their authority come from? And if it was so easily recalled, why was it that important an issue that they would push it?

Was it just a situation of some bureaucrat making the call just to justify his or her position? How much more so-called "critical regulation" is just made up by some joker in government just to justify his position and maybe get a lift up the government ladder?

And yes, it is a fact that the EPA goes above and beyond standards and recommended practices to create artificially high extremely unrealistic guidelines.

Besides studies, I know that for fact because I was told that that's the case after sitting in on a lecture given by an EPA representative back when I was studying Inspection Technology for my degree before going into the Inspection field in the Energy Industry.

And ask yourself, where does the EPA get their research data when creating the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, or the Toxic Substances Control Act?

Fact is, more of their research data from radical Environmentalist Groups who would rather see our economy suffer and subsequently people be deprived of employment - then from non-biased groups that don't have an political agenda.

Their own website says, "Regulations explain the technical, operational, and legal details necessary to implement laws." But where do they get the data to create the regulations?

It sure isn't from business friendly groups. Most business friendly groups see capitalism as a friend and provider to people and society as a whole, in contrast radical environmentalist groups see capitalism as the enemy of the earth.

The EPA says they are, "Helping government, business and the public meet federal environmental requirements."

They say they are  doing this through a system of "Self-disclosure/ compliance audit; Enforcement holding people and companies legally accountable for violations of laws and regulations; Report a possible violation;" through policy awareness and guidance; and a system of indoctrinating people as to their way of thinking.

As they state, "Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility, and starts with understanding the issues. The basics include reducing how much energy and materials you use, reusing what you can and recycling the rest. There's a lot more about that to learn!"

And yes, they are willing to "teach" people how they should think about their responsibility. Yes, it's called propaganda, and the EPA is all for it. Don't believe me, just look in our elementary schools where the youngest and easiest to indoctrinate are being forced fed extreme environmental views such as Global Warming  - which has not been proven..

Their site says, "We don't protect the environment on our own, we work with businesses, non-profit organizations, and state and local governments through dozens of partnerships. A few examples include conserving water and energy, minimizing greenhouse gases, re-using solid waste, and getting a handle on pesticide risks. In return, we share information and publicly recognize our partners."

But if that's the case, then why the secret e-mail accounts and phony names?

That's the question that House Republicans are asking while investigating EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and other high-ranking agency officials.

Have they been conducting official business with email aliases or secret accounts to avoid scrutiny from agency watchdogs and the public? And why? Why is a regulator hiding their actions?

Is there internal corruption and graft involved at the EPA? Are there people being manipulated for criminal reasons?

These are legitimate questions when you look at the areas that they alone regulate. They alone can do whatever they want and circumvent policies and procedures to accomplish all sorts of nefarious dealings.

And yes, who those this gigantic regulatory agency answer to? No one really. Unless of course they are could doing something that appears shady like this thing with Secret e-mails and using aliases.

Why do that if you are above board? Why do that if you don't have something to hide?

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is leading the investigation and has asked Jackson to turn over information connected to the email account “Richard Windsor” – one of the alleged alias accounts.
The committee has sent letters to White House lawyers and the EPA inspector general asking them in to investigate the allegations and report on their findings by the end of the month.

The Daily Caller reported first that Jackson was using an email alias, based on research by Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow Christopher Horner.

He says the agency’s use of secret email accounts dates back to the Clinton administration and then-Administrator Carol Browner.

“You remember Ms. Browner, the lady who suddenly ordered her computer hard drive reformatted and backup tapes erased, hours after a federal court issued a ‘preserve’ order … that her lawyers at the Clinton Justice Department insisted they hadn’t yet told her about?” Horner said in the Daily Caller story.

Horner and the institute filed a lawsuit in September claiming EPA employees are using the private Gmail-type accounts to send official emails.

The House committee says federal law requires agencies to preserve all internal records associated with official activities and prohibits the use of private email accounts for government business, unless there are procedures in place to track and store such messages.

An EPA spokesman said Monday the agency has for roughly a decade assigned internal and public email addresses to administrators and that they use the internal one to communicate with staff because of the massive amount of traffic on the public accounts.

The spokesman also said both accounts are reviewed and made available when a Freedom of Information Act request is made.

The committee also said the email allegations follow "similarly secretive and highly questionable methods of communication by senior officials at science agencies within the White House, Commerce Department and Energy Department."

Secret e-mails and phony names? I can't help but wonder if there are bank accounts for bribes? Maybe there are accounts where heads of the EPA are stealing money?

Of course, maybe the crooks in the EPA that found it necessary to cover their tracks by using secret e-mail and phony names wanted to disguise a money trail of some sort?

Since it is well known that Obama administration heads violated Federal Law by campaigning for the President as the election approached, maybe someone should ask if the email account "Richard Windsor" – one of the alleged alias accounts - made a huge campaign contribution with agency funds?

Anything is possible, especially when the agency is ripe for corruption. And if not some sort of criminal act, then why do they find the need to hide their actions through the use of fake names and secret e-mail accounts?

This is not what honest people do.

Story by Tom Correa

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kool-Aid Drinking Unions Kill Hostess

The first time I walked in there, I instantly noticed the hum of people mumbling. It was actually more sort of a low groan then actual conversations.

I didn't know if I was in a retirement home because of the old timers sitting around shooting the breeze with a few others who were playing cards. Yes, it was my first time to my Union hall since being laid off - and I have to admit that I expected something different.

By different, I mean busier. I expected phones ringing and people grabbing address slips heading out the door. But no, there was none of that. None at all.

The old timers were there waiting to be "called out" like pitchers needed in some game somewhere - but no they never really ever got called. And yes, later I wondered if they were still there.

When I walked up to the desk, the gal behind the counter slid open the glass window partition. Then without saying a hello, she asked me for my card and if I were current on my monthly dues.

After giving her my card, she opened the books and said I still owed for that month by a day or two and asked for the money.

As I was about to ask about work, she cut me off and said "that will be $39.00!" I paid her knowing that that was about the last money that I had left to eat on for the week.

Times were hard and a lot of people were out of work. I had only been out of the military for a year and the sporadic work had me broke and looking into moving back in with my folks.

She took the money and signed me into the book, handed me a receipt and started to close the window between us when I grabbed it and asked, "What about work?"

With as stern a look as I ever got from my 3rd grade teacher, she simply said, "Check back tomorrow" and closed the window.

So for the next few weeks, I checked back the next day and the next and the next, until I too knew everyone there in the Union Hall by first name. I checked back until I knew the stories of everyone of those guys whose companies had closed.

Most days, I showed up and checked in, then put a dime in the cup for a cup of coffee. Like many there, I'd bring a paper and sit there as that old clock just ticked away the hours.

I remember thinking how the numbers of guys coming in to put their names down on the books as being out of work grew steadily, and with every new guy coming in - I was pushed lower and lower on the list because I didn't have the seniority that they had.

You see, because of a deal with the union, the company that wanted me made a dead with the union for me to come in through the "backdoor" and work a shortened apprenticeship. The company and the union agreed because no one at the hall wanted to go to work on the roughneck crews that built buildings for that company. It was hard work and many in the hall were used to softer jobs.

Once work slowed down to a stop, I was laid off. I was new to the union game and I did what I was told to do. So every day, most days broke and hungry, I went to the hall and waited for my name to get called.

I did that everyday until one of the guys there asked me if I wanted me sit in on the card game. It was about that time that one old guy said, "Don't worry, you'll know your name when they call you." And yes, although I didn't, they enjoyed the laugh!

When I stopped going to the hall, I got a letter of Union warning me that I would be in big trouble of being tossed out of the union if they get one more report of me by-passing the hall and "soliciting" work on my own. That's right, they had rules against looking for a job on my own.

That was 1978, and I was new to a union in the Bay Area that made me promises and took my dues but never helped me find a job.

I left that union and went into a whole different line of work for a while. Then 7 years later, I had a chance to get back into the trades - but again I was faced with the fact that I had join the same Union.

After spending 7 years in the security industry, working 60 plus hours a week dealing with nasty sometimes extremely violent strikes all over the Bay Area, and after holding a full time schedule in school to get a degree in Criminal Justice, I noticed a lot about my own union that I was pretty blind to my first time around.

More and more I noticed that the unions were nothing but organized extortionists. Yes, organized extortionist - and as legal as the day is long. And yes, it seemed that my own union was really no different than the rest.

At first I thought nothing had changed in the union, except that the dues were higher. But then I started noticing how our Local's "Business Agents" looked to be even more crooked than before, it became obvious that they did not represent the guys who they supposedly represented. Instead, it was very obvious that they were just out for themselves.

It didn't matter if a member was laid off because work was slow, or if job sites weren't ready because of bad weather. As far as the union was concerned, you better pay your dues or else. And yes, while in the trades, I still kept my hand in the security industry as a "consultant" just to supplement what I wasn't making in the trades.

I did what I did so I'd be able to pay my bills and put food on my table.

Did my Local give a damn that work was slow or that our company couldn't compete with other companies? Did my union care that other companies may have been paying their workers less an hour but making more money a year because they were working all year around?

No they didn't. What mattered to them was their getting our dues in on times.

And when the company that I worked for closed, partially because of the greed and abuse of the five or six different unions involved with that company, did my union care enough to help me find another job? No they didn't.

What mattered to them was that, out of work or not, my dues better not be late. Yes, because my classification was a "specialty" within the union, after the company closed its door, my union brothers told me to take a hike. That happened, even though I was paid 6 months in advance on my dues. 

So now, Hostess closes its doors because of a union strike. And yes, Hostess now has had to lay off 18,500 workers.

Laid off after what is being called a "crippling" union fight. A fight that I can't help but wonder if it's more union greed?

When I heard the news, you'd be right if you thought that I immediately recalled my dealings with unions both as a member and in security.

Sure I thought of my own union troubles. But I also thought about the unions that I dealt with when I was supervising security guards during strike actions back in '79 and into the 1980s.

Time and time again, I saw labor unions of all different types take their people out on strike after strike only to see those companies close up. Completely out of work, no, the laid off strikers got no help afterwards from their unions.

Now an American Icon, Hostess, is gone.

Many believe that thanks to a labor union feeling emboldened by Mr Obama's re-election, that union's stubbornness in contract talks is to blamed for the shutdown of one of America's snack food icons.

And yes, let's not forget the loss of 18,500 jobs.

And really, it doesn't matter if it's the holidays. Some make a point of saying that this is a bad situation just before the holiday season. I say that this is a bad situation anytime, no matter when. And the horrible part of this, fact is is that these union members brought it on themselves.

The union representing bakery workers refused to agree to concessions, that's the bottom line of what it took to prompt the mass layoffs and closing down of hundreds of plants, yes hundreds of plants, bakeries and delivery routes.

"We deeply regret the necessity of today's decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike," Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said in a statement. "Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders."

The company said it will continue to ship out its well-known products until inventory runs out. Then like so many other things that greed kills, Hostess will be no more.

The national strike by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) that began last week decimated the 82-year-old company’s ability to produce and deliver products at roughly 12 of its 33 plants.

The company announced earlier in the week that the ax would fall on Friday if the strikers didn’t get back to work, but the union either didn’t believe them or care.

BCTGM President Frank Hurt said Thursday that the crisis was the "result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement" and charged management was scapegoating workers to allow the Wall Street investors who own Hostess to sell.

Though it worked for Obama in his re-election bid, attacking Wall Street isn't a great idea during a strike - after all, it may be those Wall Street investors who are keeping you working.

But hey, in these days of making business the villain and bankers the criminals, it's no wonder that a union would ultimately be responsible for the loss of 18,500 jobs but blame it on Wall Street.

BCTGM President Frank Hurt sounds like an idiot to me. What did he expect when a company says come back to work or we have to close the doors. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see it happening all over the country.

And honestly, I don't know how old this guy Hurt really is, but I have a feeling that like many today - he probably has not had to live through hard times until these last 4 years.

His ignorance is in his remark, "Hostess failed because its six management teams over the last eight years were unable to make it a profitable successful business enterprise."

OK, let's for a moment take what Hurt said as the truth. Then that makes him a bigger jerkweed than I thought he was. Why? Well, it has everything to do with Labor Negotiations 101: the basics of getting what you want and need in a new contract.

The first rule: Never ask for more from a company that you know is "unable to make it a profitable successful business enterprise."

Whether it's 33 years ago, or today, it never ceases to amaze me that unions have horrible timing. Instead of going to a company when the company is doing well and asking for more when the company can afford to give it - and maybe agreeing to make things work when times get bad - no, that's not what unions historically do.

They always go after a company for more about the time a company is at its lowest point. Wrong time to get anything. Let's face it, when the cow goes dry is a hell of time to demand more milk.

And listen to the frustration by Marty Zimmerman, secretary-treasurer for BCTGM Local 85, who told Fox40 from a Sacramento picket line on Friday that workers had been at “wits end” with Hostess brass.

“Well, the mindset is we’re standing strong, absolutely,” Zimmerman told the station. “I mean, they’ve taken our pensions away, we’ve had seven CEOs in the last 10 years; this company has been so mismanaged. Really, we’re at our wits end and enough is enough"

And yes, according to the BCTGM Union website, they all knew that the company wasn't doing well.

Their website states: "In 2011, Hostess earned profits of more than $2.5 billion but ended the year with a loss of $341 million as it struggled to pay the interest on $1 billion in debt. This year, the company sought bankruptcy protection, the second time in eight years."

So really, if that's the case, and you know that jobs are hard to come by in a dismal economy, then why strike?  I've seen it before, but I've never had the opportunity to ask, why?

Why wouldn't you wait and maybe even help the company come out of trouble before asking for more? Why go on strike if you know that there is a chance that you will kill the cow and that not one of the 18,500 workers there will get milk?

To me, it seems suicidal!

In a letter to employees posted on the company’s website, Hostess Chief Executive Gregory Rayburn said that all employees would eventually lose their jobs - some sooner than others.

"Many people have worked incredibly long and hard to keep this from happening, but now Hostess Brands has no other alternative than to begin the process of winding down and preparing for the sale of our iconic brands," Rayburn’s letter read.

“As you know, for many months the Company has been working with our unions, lenders and other stakeholders to reach a consensual resolution to legacy costs and labor contracts. Despite everyone’s considerable efforts to move Hostess out of its restructuring, when we began implementing the Company’s last, best and final offer, the Bakers Union chose to stage a crippling strike.”

The liberal agenda has helped kill Hostess and put these folks out of work. Fact is that Hostess has struggled for several years now. Some blame the liberal agenda and their desire to control our lives to the closing of this company. Some compare the closing to a stabbing - and liberal and Obama administration and especially the First Lady are the knife wielding assailants who for 4 years have demonized snack foods.

The company sought concessions from employees, but instead got a costly strike that just killed the company's ability to function. Sad actually, but usually mass suicide is sad.

According to officials, who told a federal bankruptcy court, Hostess would lose up to $9.5 million from Nov. 9 to Nov. 19 in lost sales and increased costs. The company has cancelled all orders in process and said any baked goods currently in transit would be returned to shippers.

“These losses and other factors, including increased vendor payment terms contraction, have resulted in a significant weakening of the debtors’ cash position and, if continued, would soon result in the debtors completely running out of cash,” the filing read.

Hostess will now sell its popular brands like Ding Dongs, Ho Ho’s and Sno Balls, along with the closure of 565 distribution centers, 570 bakery outlet stores and roughly 5,550 delivery routes.

Lenders have agreed to allow Hostess to continue to access $75 million in financing put in place at the start of the bankruptcy cases to fund the sale and wind-down process, subject to U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval.

So now, let's talk about a group of hard-heads who were all apparent drinking the same Kool-Aid. 

According to the BCTGM website, "The Bakery and Confectionery Workers International Union of America, one of the pioneers of the North American labor movement, was organized in 1886. In 1957, the American Bakery and Confectionery Workers’ International Union was formed. In 1969, the two organizations united.

The Tobacco Workers International Union was founded in 1895 and was also in the forefront of the labor movement. As it and the Bakery and Confectionery Workers’ International Union of America shared many common goals, both organizations came to realize that those goals could best be achieved through a merger. That merger, creating the BC&T, took place in 1978.

... In 1936, the National Council of Grain Processors was formed when federal grain milling unions agreed to unite as a national union under the AFL. In 1941, the council was renamed the American Federation of Grain Processors and in 1948 was granted an international charter as the AFGM.

Shared goals and industries caused the January 1, 1999 merger between the BC&T and AFGM, resulting in the BCTGM."

So friends, this is not a new union. These guys have been around a while. They understood what can take place in a strike against a company that is having financial troubles.

Those strikers knew that their livelihood was in definite trouble if they went out on strike, yet they still went on strike. And yes, to a guy like me who always worried about finding work, that's a big deal because it goes to the heart of why 18.500 workers are out of work right now.

Fact is that the trust the union members had in their union bosses, and the lack of trust in their company, tells a lot about where their heads were at. It tells a lot about the whole feeling of power that unions are feeling these days- in especially since Obama was re-elected.  

So now, now that the BCTGM has successfully killed Hostess, where do 18,500 Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM) members and Teamsters find jobs?

Does their Union have positions for them in case this would take place? No they don't!

Is the Union going to suspend their monthly dues so that those out of work don't have to pay their monthly dues? No way!  And as a word of advise, those dues better be paid on time - or else.

Is either Frank Hurt or Marty Zimmerman out of jobs? Probably not. After all, they are paid by the Unions. And yes, that's why they will demand that those out of work members still pay their dues.

BCTGM Union President Frank Hurt said, “Throughout this long and difficult process, BCTGM members showed tremendous courage,solidarity and devotion to principle. They were well aware of the potential consequences of their actions but stood strong for dignity, justice and respect.”

Imagine that! There are 18,500 Americans out of work because they wouldn't work with their employer a little more than they would have wanted to - and now their Union President is telling them that they can feel good about being out of work.

Many years ago, through my own experiences both as a union member and working to make sure that strikers didn't harm people or destroy too much property, I learned that labor unions are all about money and power.

I can't help but wonder how much money the Teamsters and the BCTGM Union gave Obama his re-election? I can't help but wonder just how emboldened Unions have become since his re-election victory?

"Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a phrase commonly used in America to refer to a person or group’s blind, uncritical belief in an ideology, argument, or philosophy.

It is a metaphor that is a direct reference to the November 1978 Jonestown Massacre, where 913 members of the Peoples Temple cult were said to have committed suicide by drinking a cyanide-laced, “Kool-Aid“- like drink.

Blind faith and the deaths of members of the People’s Temple was a fact. Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones had staged many rehearsals for the event in which the drink contained no poison, which made many cult members believe that the drink would be harmless.

This is very similar to easy strikes versus tough strikes. Easy strike are sort of a practice session for the tough ones. And yes, some strikes are relatively painless - almost feeling harmless - while other are company killers.

And that can go also for the union talk, that some take unquestionably as the truth. Their rhetoric is designed to motivate and incite blind loyalty from those who want to follow what the unions are pushing. Yes, unions and the Peoples Temple cult have a lot in common.

After reading some of the rhetoric that has come out of the unions, I can't help but think that the members really believed that they could cripple Hostess ability to operate - and yet still get what they want in their contract. Yes, both at the same time.

I know it makes no sense, but those drinking that Kool-Aid that most unions hand out aren't using a lot of logic in their thinking.

It's all emotion driven. It must be, because there is not a whole lot of logic in demanding more from a company that simply doesn't have any more to give.

It appears that the unions were after blood, after that cow went dry of milk.

Story by Tom Correa