Transparency

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

The president told us that if we like our insurance plan or our doctor we would be able to keep them under the Affordable Care Act. This is not true. My husband will not be allowed to keep his insurance under Obamacare. He may also loose his primary care physician.

 The IRS is responsible for the targeting of conservative groups, prohibiting them from operating under a tax exempt status. How did they determine which organizations to target? If the words Patriot, Constitution, or Tea Party are in their names they are not to be granted a tax exempt status.

 So our president then is dishonest, unpatriotic, and does not believe in the Constitution nor does he support equality.

 Here are two good questions.

 Despite questions and furious accusations laid on the IRS which hid this targeting scheme from Congress, the IRS continues to target conservative groups. Who made the IRS god?

 The IRS official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations from 2009 to 2012 now runs the Affordable Care Act. Her name is Sarah Hall Ingram. Do you trust her?

 http://abcn.ws/10ByINn

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Affordable Care Act

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 7 million Americans will lose their coverage because of Obamacare. North Carolina Congressman Pittenger reports that Blue Cross Blue Shield has announced a 284 % increase for some North Carolina insurance premiums due to Obamacare. Small business owners are concerned that costly Obamacare regulations will drive them out of business. So can someone explain the word affordable in Affordable Care Act?  

I am concerned for two reasons: first most of us can not afford a 284 percent increase on middle income or retirement income.  Secondly I do not want federal help.  I understand that if you make a certain amount of money you will be able to receive entitlements from the government to assist in paying these steep premiums. In my opinion, it is another way for the government to control us. The government takes more and more control of our lives each day. Our government tells us what we can eat, how we should protect ourselves, what kind of healthcare we are allowed to have, and even legislates our morality.

If healthcare for the uninsured is something we need, let’s start over with a plan that does not hurt more people than it helps. Please research the information on Obamacare and send your congressman an email or letter in support of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. 

Bruising the Fourth Amendment

Soldiers Looking at the Wall

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, Shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

From the Ten Original Amendments to the Constitution of the United Sates

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789

Ratified December 15, 1791

So those who use Google to search for something (perhaps a stroller) or use the Verizon network for personal or business communication have been searched and their private information seized without warrant or due diligence and for most of these folks there was likely no probable cause. These folks have not been told what the NSA is looking for nor are they given a description of the information retrieved.

At one time I believed our leaders just thought us too stupid and unable see through the smoke and mirrors presented as truths. This information leaked by Snowden was classified to protect our nation.

However, we must realize also that these actions are an erosion of the Fourth Amendment. Our government is too big and stepping on our rights under the illusion of their own power.

More people must let their leaders know that we need less government. We need a government that concentrates on national security and the economy. Our government should not been in charge of our health care, our personal morals, our children’s education and our businesses.

Take your voices and let them be heard. Your opinion counts but it can only be recognized if it is heard.

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.Source: The Bill of Rights, ratified

December 15, 1791Xlibrisflag

Evidence of the trampling of the First Amendment by the Internal Revenue Service has been heard. The hearings on June 4, 2013 have been disarming and frightening. The IRS told the President of the Coalition for Life of Iowa to submit a letter signed by all board members stating: Under the penalty of perjury, we will not picket, protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood.

So the heavy-handed IRS lashed its whip on the back of the Coalition for Life threatening to take away its tax-free status if it assembled and spoke of its beliefs in opposition to Planned Parenthood.

Who gave the order instructing this public institution paid for by your tax dollars to target conservative organizations for audits and burdensome proof of tax-free status?

Several tea party groups including the ones that testified today, June 4th; the Laurens County Tea Party, the Wetumpka Tea Party, the San Fernando Valley Patriots, and the Linchpins of Liberty; are all taking part in a lawsuit against the IRS filed by the American Center for Law.

Hurrah for the organizations that testified, keep fighting, stand up for your rights, and the rights of Americans to free speech and assembly.

Rolling Thunder

Sounds like I am talking about a train or possibly dark billowing thunder clouds planning their onslaught, doesn’t it? No, not trains or clouds, but motorcycles making their annual run to the wall on Memorial Day weekend in Washington, DC.Rolling Thunder 2012 009

We left last Thursday for Washington, D.C.  Each year we return at this time to honor those veterans left behind and continue a demonstration that was started back in 1988. 

In 1987 former Marine, Corporal Manco learned at the Viet Nam Wall that many POW’s and MIA’s were left behind during the Viet Nam War. He attended a POW/MIA vigil sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club. The idea came to him then that he should host a motorcycle rally in the nation’s capitol to show the world that the U.S. prisoners or war and missing in action should never be forgotten.

With U.S. Army Sergeant Major John Holland (ret), Marine First Sergeant Walt Sides (ret), and Sergeant Ted Sampley (ret), Manco started the first protest ride to the wall.

That first rally in 1988 was attended by 25000 men and women.

The May 2001 rally received an estimated count of 200,000 motorcyclists.

In 2008 there were 350,000 motorcycles on the ride to the wall

Last year (2012) was the 25th anniversary of Rolling Thunder which hosted 500,000 motorcyclists.

 So this year we eagerly returned. I give up my seat and my helmet so that a mother of a fallen soldier can ride with John in the parade. Rolling Thunder 2012We have met people from all over America: from the four corners of our country, veteran and not. Each year it grows. Rolling Thunder has turned into a venerable Memorial Day Event.

Bikes stage in two or three Pentagon lots sometimes spilling over into a third overflow lot. The wait starts at 5 a.m. in the morning until kickstands up at noon.

At the start there is a rolling thunder as the pipes sing their powerful music. The parade begins with the history of the protest shown through banners and flags as well as decorated bikes. The event managers and coordinators plus special guests are in the front. Soon after come the Gold Star Mothers riding with Patriot Guard Motorcyclists. The streets are cleared for safety.

As the motorcycles rumble down Constitution Avenue people are lined up on both sides of the street waving small American Flags and enjoying the motorcycles.

We return to our hotel exhausted and happy. One veteran rider claims, “Mission Accomplished”, and we raise our glasses in salute to our fallen heroes.

On History

 

Portrait of Thomas Paine by Matthew Pratt, 178...

Portrait of Thomas Paine by Matthew Pratt, 1785–1795 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

History has its attractions: it is genuinely interesting, it shows the innate strengths and weaknesses of human behavior, and it repeats its truths. History is no longer taught in schools. It is combined with social studies in elementary school and the entire story in history is not retold.

Should we not learn what drove people to war, how dictators gain power, and how a weak economy affects the direction of politics?

A friend in Virginia suggested that I revisit Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Thomas Paine talks about the importance of limited government. His pamphlet was written at a time when colonists were burdened and constrained by a government 3000 miles away. One might find some commonalties between 1776 and 2013.

Paine wrote “I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz, that the more simple anything is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered.”

He was talking about limited government. When a government becomes too complex and demands more control over its citizens, it is not the kind of government our forefather’s designed when they wrote the Constitution of the United States.

Texas Representative Ron Paul discusses the need for a more limited government in current terms and like Thomas Paine in 1776, Representative Ron Paul is right on.

At WordPress, Happiness is Automattic

Now that sounds like a surprising turn of events. I like when your job brings glad tidings. Writing for me is a soul search, both engaging and entertaining. I hope it is also exsercising my brain.

Unencumbered by Facts

On the first of May, I started a new job at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. I was hired as a “Code Wrangler,” but to date I have not written a lick of code. This is because for the first three weeks new employees must participate in a customer support rotation. I know what you are thinking: “Let the software engineers communicate directly with customers? I saw Office Space, so I know that’s a bad idea!” or maybe “Bummer, customer service is a thankless soul-sucking quagmire of loathsomeness.” Surprisingly, neither one of these normally valid assumptions is true in this case. So what makes working at Automattic so special that software engineers can enjoy communicating directly with users and customer service ends up being rewarding and fun? Quite a few things actually.

The customer service team is known as the “Happiness Team,” and its members are “Happiness Engineers.” When I…

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