Grainy footage of the launch being streamed online was cut shortly after 6.56am GMT when the space-bound vessel left the Sea Launch pad (file picture) but got into trouble.
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Grainy footage of the launch being streamed online was cut shortly after 6.56am GMT when the space-bound vessel left the Sea Launch pad (file picture) but got into trouble.
Interesting, haven't heard anything about this in the news yet....
Menendez has so far successfully dodged reporters stationed throughout the Capitol complex for the last two days (RT @DCPundit: He's on 'This Week' again already?
The Democratic Senator who has been caught having an affair or sex with underage prostitutes continues to stay on the job. Let's hope enough media exposure will get him to resign like Anthony Weiner, who exposed his privates on twitter.
Menendez is said to have hired underage prostitutes while visiting the Dominican Republic. While it might be legal there, it certainly isn't legal for US citizens and one who is suppose to honor the US and protect the reputation of the US.
With Annie Leibovitz at the White House? (RT @NYMag: Michelle Obama could be shooting a @VogueMagazine cover right this minute. http://t.co/HIbaZYyK)
Gag, spare us the details...the media pandering to Michelle Obama and her husband the past four years is becoming unbearable. I hate to think we have to put up with this for another four years. I guess this was a previous Vogue cover she 'modeled' for. You can tell they airbrushed it and likely cut some of her wide hips off. Unless she's gained weight since then, because she's so concerned about maintaining her weight and eating balanced diet...or making everyone else eat a balanced diet and watching their weight??
Options for Consideration demonstrates possible actions to take if confronted with a active shooter scenario. The instructive video reviews the choices of ev...
LOL the latest DHS video on how to survive an office shooting is a joke...it shows someone running to their desk for scissors&advises grabbing anything you can and hiding under your desk if you are unable to escape. While this would be a last resort, I doubt it would help if the shooter found you hiding under your desk.
An active shooter determined to target anyone would likely shoot you whether you had a pair of scissors or not, but if you had a gun pointing at him/her and were able to shoot first you might have a better chance at survival.
Here are some funny twittersphere reactions to the latest DHS safety video as compiled by Twitchy.com:http://twitchy.com/2013/01/31/dhstips-conservatives-mock-ridiculous-dhs-safety-video/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
#DHSTips if you see a shooter in your office, throw the tape dispenser at him and shout "grenade!" It will buy you a precious second or two
#DHSTips Light a strongly scented candle. If the stench doesn't drive your attacker away, threaten him with the hot wax—
Using markers and paper, fashion a sign that says "GUN-FREE ZONE", post it on your door, and continue to work #DHSTips—
1. Grab scissors 2. Offer to hem his pants 3. Hope police make it there before you're done. #DHSTips—
Atlanta Public School officials confirmed to FOX 5 that there has been a shooting at Price Middle School in southwest Atlanta.
School officials say two people were shot.
The school is on lockdown, and authorities say parents are not being allowed to pickup their children at this time.
Strange, I started posting this article and it said two suspects were in custody, then the page auto refreshed and that portion was removed. So will see what they say as more details come in....
A prosecutor was killed after getting shot five times near the courthouse in a small Texas town on Thursday morning, and two suspects remain on the loose.
Great now the liberals will be sure to blame the GOP for the Aryan Brotherhood since they think the TeaParty are a bunch of white racists. I'm sure the SPLC is all over this or soon will be.
Police have been searching for the man suspected of shooting three people in an Arizona office park.
I guess he decided to take his own life. It's too bad these nut cases don't just take their own lives rather than innocent victims along with them first.
There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.
There is no war on terror for the Obama White House, but there is one on Fox News.
In a recent interview with The New Republic, President Obama was back to his grousing about the one television news outlet in America that won’t fall in line and treat him as emperor. Discussing breaking Washington's partisan gridlock, the president told TNR,"If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News...for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it."
Alas, the president loves to whine about the media meanies at Fox News. To him, these are not people trying to do their jobs. No, they are out to get him. What other motive could a journalist have in holding a president accountable? Why oh why do Ed Henry and Chris Wallace insist on asking hard questions? Make them stop!
The president seems more comfortable talking to "real journalists" such as Chris Hughes, who asked the question in the TNR interview that elicited Obama's reflexive Fox hatred. Hughes is the new owner of TNR and is a former major Obama campaign donor and organizer who was featured on the cover of Fast Company, with the headline, "The Kid Who Made Obama President." You can't make this stuff up.
This latest volley from the president is just one in a long line of comments from his White House as part of their campaign to silence any dissent they detect in the press corps.
Recently, the White House has kept Fox News off of conference calls dealing with the Benghazi attack, despite Fox News being the only outlet that was regularly reporting on it and despite Fox having top notch foreign policy reporters.
They have left Chris Wallace’s "Fox News Sunday" out of a round of interviews that included CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS for not being part of a “legitimate” news network. In October 2009, as part of an Obama administration onslaught against Fox News,White House senior adviser David Axelrod said on ABC’s “This Week” that the Fox News Channel is "not really a news station" and that much of the programming is "not really news."
Whether you are liberal or conservative, libertarian, moderate or politically agnostic, everyone should be concerned when leaders of our government believe they can intentionally try to delegitimize a news organization they don’t like.
In fact, if you are a liberal – as I am – you should be the most offended, as liberalism is founded on the idea of cherishing dissent and an inviolable right to freedom of expression.
That more liberals aren't calling out the White House for this outrageous behavior tells you something about the state of liberalism in America today.
Sure, everyone understands how some of Fox's opinion programming would get under President Obama's skin, the same way MSNBC from 4pm until closing time is not the favorite stop for Republicans. But it's not okay -- or presidential -- to continue smearing an entire network of hard working journalists because you are mad at Sean Hannity.
During the initial launch of the war on Fox News in October 2009, then-White House Communications Director Anita Dunn told the New York Times of Fox News, “[W]e don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.” On CNN, she declared that Fox was a “wing of the Republican Party.” Then: “let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN is."
Gosh, this sounds so familiar. In fact, it’s exactly the line that Media Matters used in a 2010 memo to donors: “Fox News is not a news organization. It is the de facto leader of the GOP, and it is long past time that it is treated as such by the media, elected officials and the public.”
In fact, this is the signature line of Media Matters in discussing Fox News, which they say they exist to destroy. Their CEO, David Brock told Politico in 2011 that their strategy was a “war on Fox” that is executed by 90 staff members and a $10 million yearly budget, gratis liberal donors.
Can someone explain to me how it’s “liberal” to try and shut down a media organization? What the Obama administration is doing, and what liberals are funding at MMFA is beyond chilling – it’s a deep freeze.
On the heels of Dunn’s attack on Fox, Brock wrote a letter to progressive organizations bragging about the U.S. government trashing a news organization: “In recent days, a new level of scrutiny has been directed toward Fox News, in no small part due to statements from the White House, and from Media Matters, challenging its standing as a news organization.” Point of order: who put Media Matters in charge of determining what is and isn't a news operation? http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1009/Media_Matters_coordinates_campaign_against_lethal_Fox.html
A Media Matters memo http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/media-matters-war-on-fox-memo found its way into the public domain and if you care at all about decency and freedom of the press, it will make you throw up. If you like McCarthyism, it’s right up your alley. It details to liberal donors how they have plans to assemble opposition research on Fox News employees.
It complains of the “pervasive unwillingness among members of the media to officially kick Fox News to the curb of the press club” and outlines how they are going to change that through targeting elite media figures and turning them against Fox. They say they want to set up a legal fund to sue (harass) conservatives for any “slanderous” comments they make about progressives on air. They actually cite one of the best journalists around, Jake Tapper, as a problem because he questioned the White House about calling a news outlet “illegitimate.” Tapper can see the obvious: if the White House can call one news outlet illegitimate for asking tough questions, then guess who is next? Anyone.
We defend freedom of the press because of the principle, not because we like everything the press does. For example, I defend MSNBC’s right to run liberal programming to their hearts content.
Monitoring the media is actually a good thing; the media should be held accountable, including Fox News. When MMFA began I was supportive of their endeavor and even used some of their research. They seemed a counterbalance to conservative media monitoring organizations.
But now the mask is off. They make no bones about their intentions, and it's not a fair media. It is clear now that the idea of freedom of the press actually offends Media Matters.
Last week Rolling Stone editor Michael Hastings – who is a liberal and said recently that “most journalists I know are liberal”
http://wizbangblog.com/2012/02/03/admission-journalists-are-liberals-not-interested-in-facts-and-truth/ and When they are near him, they lose their mind sometimes. They start behaving in ways, you know, that are juvenile and amateurish and they swoon.”
Fox was a “wing of the Republican Party.” Then: “let's not pretend they're a news network the way CNN i
Good to see Kirsten Powers defending Fox, of course she is a contributor there but she is also a liberal, who tends to be more balanced than most liberals these days. Sometimes I think she is too sane to be a liberal, but then she shows her true colors again when it comes to Obamacare or gun control. It's good to see someone exposing the liberal media bias who is also a liberal herself. The mainstream media needs to stop whining about Fox so much and start being more honest and balanced in their reporting, then maybe they wouldn't be criticized so much and be taken more seriously by the at least 53% of the country.
The dam finally burst this week as the mainstream media was forced to begin addressing the many very serious unanswered questions regarding the alleged Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.
No one wants to be forced to come to terms with their country not being what they thought it was. But when all the facts point to an alternate reality existing, as opposed to the one the media is forcing down everyone's throats, there's no choice but to start having second thoughts, regardless of how unwanted or stomach-wrenching those thoughts may be.
Quite possibly the most obvious example would be to point out that the entire gun control“debate” hinges on the fact that “assault” weapons were used to kill children and staff at the school. Even though it was reported, complete with video evidence the day after the shootings, the only so-called “assault” weapon at the scene, which actually looks more like a shotgun, had been left in the trunk of the car, and was never used. (A car that ended up not belonging to the alledged shooter, Adam Lanza, or his mother after all).
In spite of this bombshell information, the media as a whole (scriptwriters and teleprompter programmers) ran with the false assertion an assault rifle was used nonetheless and are still largely going with that fake reality today, especially on TV... Fully knowing that's not the case. Unless you just crawled out of bin Laden's cave for the first time, everyone's heard the constant drumbeat for gun “control” on almost every radio and TV station in the country, especially the argument that so-called “assault” weapons and large capacity magazines should be banned, despite not being used at the shooting. (Therefore, an assault weapons or large magazine ban would not have prevented the school shootings, regardless).
Worse, many politicians in Washington, including Obama, also ran with it like solid gold, even going as far as producing a string of over 20 executive orders Wednesday to attempt banning American's right to own the type of weapons “used at the school.” Openly lying, misrepresenting the circumstances and using it all, including innocent, (naturally-gun-hating) children on the signing stage with him, to garner emotional support for the lie.
Any takers on the chances Obama ever fesses-up to there never having been a so-called “assault” rifle inside Sandy Hook elementary school or why his administration sent literally 10s of thousands of the guns he now demonizes to Mexican drug cartels, south of the border?
Every American in the country should be absolutely outraged beyond belief over just this one aspect of the tragedy's aftermath, even if an opponent to so-called “assault” weapons ownership (if anyone can honestly define the meaning of an assault weapon and what that looks like). If nothing else, simply for being manipulated into going along with a controversial political agenda. Especially one that more (adult) Americans statistically disagree with than those who support it. Unfortunately, that's only the beginning of America's tyranny problem.
In addition to every post-Wild West statistic showing violent crime rates dropping in areas where gun ownership grew, one of the big secrets is that many alternative journalists are getting very good at knowing what to look for, recognizing patterns and seeing the signs that criminals leave behind. Just like old-school journalists used to do, prior to the age of mass-information manipulation. Back when they actually investigated and publicly analyzed every last piece of available evidence, instead of merely reading from, officially admitted, pre-scripted teleprompter copy, or a list of talking points given by “officials” on the scene, for a paycheck.
When so many people see the easy-to-find evidence for themselves, by merely going online, typing in the appropriate search term and taking an honest and objective look at all the evidence, the ability for the media to merely say whatever they want and have control over the “court of public opinion,” is slowly turning into an open info-war over the psychological acceptance of what is seen as perceived reality.
More examples show those who the media brands conspiracy “theorists” have pointed out the fact that a “crisis actor” seems to have been used for an alleged post-funeral interview and was caught laughing and joking before getting into character for the camera while live footage was rolling. But instead of addressing the more obvious example, the media created a diversion for those who refuse to go look it up for themselves, and instead focused on and made a big deal out of an entirely different individual that also seems, to those who have looked into the situation on their own, like just another crisis actor, just not quite as obvious and much easier for the media to attempt denouncing. Anderson Cooper's recent tirade is the example everyone is talking about and using as (laughably un-) “credible” material.
The more startling examples, however, are the ones the media isn't really discussing very much, for obvious reasons. The arrest of a camouflaged individual running into the woods, away from the school, as officers arrived and the fact that the “crisis actors” and officers on display, for public consumption, seem to have been pulled from an active (school shooter) drill that was ironically being held right down the road at the exact same time, are themselves cause enough to be red flag worthy. They want you to buy the excuse this was all presumably innocent oversight, however. Simply another extraordinary coincidence, where a pre-planned government exercise turns into a conveniently live event, just like 9/11 on multiple levels, just like the 7/7 London bombings and just like Sandy Hook elementary school and others.
Even though the likelihood even one of those situations going live in the exact same manner, at the same time and at the exact same location as a pre-set training drill covering the exact same scenario, much less all three, is so ridiculously miniscule you'd have a better opportunity of winning the Powerball three times. Nonetheless, if you happen to be aware of these circumstances, the establishment and its media push the idea it's all one giant coincidence and you're a conspiracy “theorist” a “racist” or a “right-wing nut-job” if you'd dare think otherwise.
Never mind the instances websites and Facebook pages, blog postings, tribute videos and victims compensations sites were officially set up or mistakenly posted days and weeks in advance of the shootings.
They also want you to believe it was just a coincidence that a massive medical drill was also being held at a local Denver-area medical school, at the exact same time the Aurora Theater shooting happened. The victims of which just so happen to have been watching a movie that referenced Sandy Hook on a map as a potential terror-target-area, who also happened to have just watched the world-premiere of a music video,moments before the movie and shootings began, showing a bunch of skeletons sitting in a movie theater. But that's all just coincidence too, officially.
Officials in Giles County, VA know better than to believe it was mere coincidence however when they were made aware their name also appeared on the same Dark Knight Rises terrorist-target-area map and subsequently shut down the entire school districtrecently. I guess that means all the public and school officials in Giles County would have to be considered conspiracy “theorists” as well then. Even though it's ridiculous to assume even one of these situations, much less all of them, can be mere coincidence.
I'm not sure what to think of this based on the information that does appear coincidental, but overall from what I have seen about these conspiracy theories from 9/11 to the Aurora and Sandy Hook shootings, I believe them to be more conspiracy than reality. I know we live in a time where the media is manipulated more and more by the government, especially under the Democrat control and that they are willing to coverup&edit videos to mainipulate the message they are sending the public. However, I just don't think our government is capable of successfully planning and plotting these conspiracies without being exposed sooner. There are just too many people involved to keep something this big covered up. Especially the parents, children and the law enforcement and communities involved.
While some of the conspiracy theories make some good arguments and there are still many questions left unanswered I just don't see that all of these incidents are related let alone anything this administration could conduct successfully. They couldn't even get Fast&Furious and Benghazi right.
Anyway, there will always be conspiracy theorists who don't believe man landed on the moon, or that 9/11 was an inside job, or that the Aurora, CO Dark Knight shooting and Newtown, CT Sandy Hook Elem School shooting were created by the govt. It is not surprising the number of people believing these theories are rising because the media and this administration have become less trustworthy. However, I still find that both are not capable of successfully planning these events out, nor getting away with them without someone leaking the truth, especially with children involved.
I truly believe those children died, along with the victims of these tragic incidents happened and I truly believe they were all victims of violence, terrorism and the horrific events we all watched unfold. I think people should worry more about praying for their souls, finding ways to keep our children and each other safe and stop concoting these hoaxes up. Let them RIP and let the families who lost loved ones find peace in their day without feeling like they have lied to the public about what happened to their loved ones.
Also, as far as the video of the rifle found in the back of the car at Sandy Hook, that was a shotgun and the weapon the medical examiner said was used was the AR-15. While I am pro 2nd amendment, and believe the government is using this incident to deny law abiding citizens their rights...I believe the medical examiners press conference which was several days after the initial reports which said the AR-15 was the weapon found in the trunk of the car. Initial reports were unclear from the beginning,and it wasn't clear until days later and after the autopsies were done what the primary weapon was. The media initially thought Adam's brother was the shooter, because they found his ID on him, but that turned out to be false as they found the brother alive and talked to him and the father.
My only questions which I do hope the media follows up on is who the police pursued into the woods and why they are no longer a suspect in the shooting at Sandy Hook, as well as what happened to the reports of a maroon van with a shot out window that they were pursuing the day of the shooting, that might have had something to do with the shooting??
The full text of John Kerry’s farewell address to the Senate, as delivered.
I want to begin by thanking my colleagues, all of them for their unbelievably generous comments to me personally, in the committee, and on the floor, in the halls, meetings over the course of the last weeks. I will always be grateful for our friendships, and I thank my wife Teresa who is here sitting in the family gallery, and my entire family for their unbelievable support through this journey.
Five times Massachusetts has voted to send me to the United States Senate. Yesterday, nearly three decades after the people of Massachusetts first voted me into this office, the people I worked with in the Senate voted me out of it.
As always, I accept the Senate’s sound judgment!
Eight years ago, I admit that I had a very different plan, slightly different anyway, to leave the Senate, but 61 million Americans voted that they wanted me to stay here with you.
And so staying here – I learned about humility, and I learned that sometimes the greatest lesson comes not from victory, but from just dusting off a defeat and starting over when you get knocked down.
I was reminded throughout this journey of something that’s often said but not always fully appreciated. All of us Senators are only as good as our staff. Staff that gives up their late nights and weekends; postpones vacations; doesn’t get home in time to tuck children in to bed—and all of these lost moments because they’re here helping us serve. They’re not elected, they didn’t get into public service to get rich, that’s for sure, and their names are rarely in the newspapers, but from the staff in the mailrooms to the people who answer the front phones to the policy experts and the managers -- the legislative correspondents who write the letters, the caseworkers who make government accountable, and the people everywhere in between -- they make the Senate work for people. I’ve been blessed to have a spectacular staff and while I know every one of my colleagues would say the same about their staffs – its true about mine.
If I start naming names I’m sure to miss someone –so I’m not going to – but I think everyone on my staff will understand why I want to acknowledge five who are not with us any longer. They’re up in heaven looking down on all of us and Ted Kennedy’s probably drafted them all: Jayona Beal, Jeanette Boone, Bill Bradley, Louise Etheridge and Gene Heller, the latter two of whom were senior citizen volunteers in my Boston office who opened our mail for over a decade, not paid, they just did this out of their love for country. What a special twosome they were. We miss them all, and we thank them for their selflessness and their contribution, as I do the entire staff of 561 incredible men and women in Massachusetts and Washington that I’ve been privileged to work with through these 28 plus years.
I also think about the interns – 1,393– who have come in and out of our offices from Washington to Worcester. And I’m especially proud of those who started as interns and ended as my Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, senior policy staffers, or the Kerry interns who went on to work not just for me, but who have for the last four years been top speechwriters, trip directors, and senior communications staff at the White House for the President of the United States. I’m proud of our internship program, and grateful to the people who built it and who sustain it.
I also want to thank the incredible group of unsung heroes who literally make the Senate work – people who work not for individual Senators but for all of us, in every room and nook and cranny of this great series of buildings, the men and women who operate the Senate subways, Darrell, many others and the trains and elevators. They take us to and from votes and meetings. They are really the glue and we couldn’t function without them. The Capitol Police who protect us, police who many started to notice a little bit more after that awful day in 1998 when two were shot and killed on a busy Wednesday afternoon.
The parliamentarians and the clerks and staff here on the floor — including Gary, Tim, Tricia, Meredith, and all the folks on the cloakroom and Dave on the other side and all the folks in the Republican cloakroom, all of whom help keep us going and are unfailingly patient when we call for the umpteenth time to find out whether the vote schedule is going to let us make it home to a child’s dance recital or birthday party. I want to thank the many Bertie Bowmans who came here more than forty years ago, dug in, and made the Senate their cause and their concern. People like Meg Murphy of the Foreign Relations Committee who makes everybody’s life easier.
And, I thank the reporters who catch us in the hallways, trap us, ambush us in the hallways ---- , despite all the changes and challenges in their own business, still dutifully document the first drafts of American history. I thank all the incredible people who travel through these halls working incredibly hard to get it right, people of character who cover this place as a public service not a sport – and I thank them. I thank David Rogers for all he’s stood for so long in this institution. It is hard to imagine my job without seeing him in that long green coat waiting by the elevators after a late night vote.
Sometimes in politics, it’s now almost a sport in America to dismiss the contributions of the people who work in government, people who make the Senate work, but people that the public never see. I admired the way our former colleague Ted Kaufman used to come down here once a week and tell the story of one individual federal worker. The stories are legion. Instead of tearing these people down, we should be lifting them up, and I thank them all for the part they play in our democracy.
I will share with you that now that I’ve come to this moment in the journey, I can say without reservation that nothing prepares you for it.
Many times now in 29 years, I’ve been at my desk here on the floor, starting way over there, number 99, listening as colleagues bid the Senate farewell. Sometimes a farewell speech signals a complete departure from public life, sometimes a new journey altogether. Sometimes a forced departure. Sometimes a leap for freedom. I’m grateful that at this moment, thanks to my colleagues, serendipity and the trust of our President, while I’m closing a chapter, it’s not the final one. But I assure you, amid the excitement and the possibility, I do feel a wistfulness about leaving the United States Senate. And that’s because, despite the obvious frustrations of recent days and years, a frustration we all share — this place remains one of the most extraordinary institutions of any kind on the face of the earth.
On occasion we’ve all heard a Senator take their leave condemning the Senate for being broken, or for having become an impossible setting in which to do the peoples’ business.
Of course, many have later confessed just how much they missed and appreciated the Senate’s unique character after they’d bid it farewell.
I want to be very clear about my feelings: I do not believe the Senate is broken — certainly not as an institution. There is nothing wrong with the Senate that can’t be fixed by what’s right about the Senate – the predominant and weighty notion that 100 American citizens, chosen by their neighbors to serve from states as different as Massachusetts and Montana, can always choose to put parochial or personal interests aside and find the national interest.
I believe it is the honor of a lifetime, an extraordinary privilege to have represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States Senate for more than 28 years, just like each of you feel about your state. What a remarkable gift it has been to carry the banner of Senator from Massachusetts, a banner passed from the sons of the American Revolution like Daniel Webster to the sons of immigrants like Paul Tsongas, and to know that a state where the abolitionists crusaded at Faneuil Hall and the suffragettes marched in Quincy Market could send to Washington sons like Ted Kennedy and Ed Brooke who fought to expand civil rights – and now a woman, Elizabeth Warren, who proved that in Massachusetts the glass ceiling has finally been forever shattered.
And what a remarkable gift Massachusetts has given me to come here and learn so much about the rest of our country. I’ve had the privilege of learning what really makes our nation tick. What a gift to have been the nominee of my party, to have come within a whisper of winning the Presidency against a wartime incumbent, but more importantly, to have experienced the magic of our nation in such personal ways.
To experience the gift of traveling along the banks of the mighty Mississippi, through Iowa and South Dakota and along the rivers where Lewis and Clark marked and measured the dream of our first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who foresaw an America that would advance into the West. To experience a journey that took me to Alabama where I stood silently in the very pulpit from which Dr. King preached his dream of an America united and dipped my fingers into the fountain in Birmingham, where water flows over the names of those murdered trying to vote, or just registering to vote; to see the water trickle over the words of Dr. King’s prayer that justice might “roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” I drove across the Hoover Dam and wondered as I did at what America can accomplish when we want to; driving across the Golden Gate Bridge at dawn and reminded that it was built at the height of the Great Depression when so many feared our best days were behind us. What I’ve seen and heard and learned in traveling across our country as a Senator from Massachusetts has prepared me more for my travels to other countries as a Secretary of State than any travel to any foreign capital.
I already know I will miss the best reward of carrying the title Senator, and that’s when you open a letter from someone who has traveled every route and exhausted every option, and who ultimately turned to you as the last resort and they finally got the help they needed. There is nothing that beats a letter that says, “I tried everything and no one would listen but you got it done!” Or, sometimes when you’re walking a street in a community at home and someone thanks you for a personal response they never expected to receive. That’s when public service has more meaning than the war of words our constituents dodge on the cable news.
Standing here at this desk that once belonged to President Kennedy and to Ted Kennedy, I can’t help but be reminded that even the nation’s greatest leaders — and all the rest of us — are merely temporary workers. I am reminded that this chamber is a living museum, a lasting memorial to the miracle of the American experiment.
No one has captured this phenomenon more eloquently or comprehensively as Robert Caro did in his masterpiece about the Senate, called Master of the Senate. I’m sure many in this room have read it. In that book, before we learn of the levers that Lyndon Johnson pulled to push our nation toward civil rights, Caro described the special powers that the Founders gave the Senate — and only the Senate. “Powers,” Caro writes, “designed to make the Congress independent of the President and to restrain and act as a check on his authority: power to approve his appointments, even the appointments he made within his own Administration, even appointments to his own Cabinet.” This body has now exercised that power on my behalf, and I will always be grateful.
Another master of the Senate, Massachusetts’ Daniel Webster, delivered 183 years ago this week what has often been praised as the greatest speech in Senate history. He stood at the desk that now belongs to the senior Senator from New Hampshire and argued forcefully in favor of the very idea that makes us the United States: that we’re all in this together, that we each have a stake in the successes and failures of our countrymen, that what happens in Ohio matters to those in South Carolina, or in Massachusetts or to Montanans. “Union and Liberty,” Webster shouted. “Now and forever, one and inseparable!”
As Caro retells it, “those words, spoken among the desks, in the Senate” left those in the gallery in tears and cast a model for how those of us in this chamber must consider the constituents of our colleagues, as well as our own.
But the truth is that none of us ran for office because of a great debate held centuries ago. None of us moved here because of the moving words of a Senator long since departed. We honor this history, but we’re here because of the legacy that we can and want to leave. It is up to us--to my colleagues here today and those to come after us, it is up to us to keep the Senate great. I fully believe we will meet that obligation— if, as the President told the nation and the world last week, we seize this moment together.
Yes--Congress and public life face their difficulties these days, but not because the structure that our Founding Fathers gave us is inherently flawed. For sure, there are moments of great frustration — for the American people and for everybody in this place. But I don’t believe they are the fault of the institution itself. It’s not the rules that confound us per se. It’s the choices people make about those rules. The rules we work by now are essentially the same ones that were here when I joined the Senate and found things to move much more easily than they do today.
They are essentially the same rules under which Daniel Webster and Lyndon Johnson operated, and they did great things. They are almost the same rules Mike Mansfield, Everett Dirksen, Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch used to pass great pieces of legislation. They are the same rules under which the Senate Democrats and President George H.W. Bush passed an agreement including tax increases to at last begin to tackle the deficit. I would remind everyone here, as I take my leave from the Senate, when President George H.W. Bush returned from agreeing to a deficit reduction deal at Andrews Air Force Base, he wrote in his diary that he might well have sealed his fate as a one term President. He did what he thought was right for the country and laid the groundwork for our ability to three times balance the budget at the end of the 1990s. That’s courage and the Senate and the Congress and the country need more of it.
Frankly, the problems we live through today come from individual choices made by Senators themselves—not the rules. When an individual Senator – or a colluding caucus — determine that the comity essential to an institution like the Senate is a barrier to individual ambition or party ambition, the country loses. Those are the moments in which the Senate fulfills, not its responsibility to the people, but its reputation as a sanctuary of gridlock.
I ask colleagues to remember the words of Ben Franklin as that long Philadelphia summer yielded our remarkable Constitution. Late at night, after their work was complete, Dr. Franklin was walking down the steps of Constitution Hall, of Independence Hall, and a woman called out to him and she said: “Well, Doctor, what have we got-- a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin answered: “A republic — if you can keep it.” Sustaining a functioning republic is work and it’s more than ever, I believe, our challenge today.
I’m hardly the first and will not be the last to call on Congress to remember why we’re here, to prioritize our shared interests above the short-term, to bridge the breadth of the partisan divide and reach across the aisle and take the long view.
Many have stood here, delivering farewell speeches and lamented what became of the Washington where President Reagan and Speaker O’Neill could cultivate an affiliation stronger than party, or a Congress that saw true friendships between Senators like Kennedy and Hatch, Inouye and Stevens, Obama and Coburn—the odd couples as they have been dubbed.
I can’t tell you why, but I think it’s possible this moment may see a turn in the spirit of the Senate. There are new whispers of desire for progress, rumors of new coalitions, and sense of possibility whether it is on energy or immigration. I am deeply impressed by a new generation of Senators who seem to have come here determined not to give in to the cynicism but to get the people’s business done. I am confident that when today’s freshmen take their turns in leaving the Senate, they will be able to tell of new Senators added to that inestimable list of odd couples. And with any luck, by then it will not be odd.
So I leave here convinced that we can keep our republic strong. When President Kennedy observed that “Our problems are manmade; therefore they can be solved by man,” he was talking about a much more literal kind of nuclear option than the euphemism we use today to discuss Senate rules. But his vision is just as important for us to recognize in our time, whether we are talking about the ability of Senators to debate and vote, or about any of the issues on which they do so. It is still true today, as he said 50 years ago, that “reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe he said they can do it again.” I believe that too.
So what effort do we need to put our reason and spirit into? I believe there are three challenges that have conspired to bring about a dangerous but reversible erosion in the quality of our democracy: the decline of comity, the deluge of money and the disregard for facts.
First, I have witnessed what we all have: a loss of simple comity, the respect that we owe one another and the sense of common cause that brings all of us here. The Senate as a body can change its rules to make it more efficient, sure. But only Senators, one by one, in their own hearts, can change their approach to legislating, which Henry Clay correctly defined as the art of consensus.
I came to the Senate in 1985 as a member of a hopeful and hard-charging class of freshmen. Paul Simon, Tom Harkin, Al Gore, Phil Gramm, Jay Rockefeller and I all have at least three things in common: we were all sworn in as Senators on the same day, we each explored running or ran for the White House, and none of us made it there. The last remaining member of that class, Senator Mitch McConnell, has now again been elevated by his peers as the Republican Leader.
I see a lot of a very similar aspiration to what we felt when I came here in 1985, and today’s freshmen and sophomores. Many came to the Senate running on the premise that it’s broken beyond repair. I encourage each and every one of them to reject this premise in order to restore the promise of the Senate. The Senate cannot break unless we let it. After all, the value of this institution, like any instrument of power, is in how we use it.
But we cannot ignore the fact that today, treaties that would have years ago passed 100-0 don’t pass at all. People who want to vote for something that they believe in actually don’t do so, for fear of retribution. That is a reflection on all of us. As I prepare to represent our nation in capitals around the world, I’m conscious that my credibility as a diplomat – and ours as a country – is determined to a great degree by what happens in our own capital city. The antidote to that, and it is pushed by rival countries is to demonstrate that we can get our economic house in order. We can be no stronger abroad than we are at home.
The unwillingness of some to yield to national interest is damaging to America’s prospects in the world. We are quick to talk about the global economy and about global competition, but it’s our own procrastination and outright avoidance of obvious choices that threatens our own future. Other nations are both quick and glad to fill the vacuum that’s brought about by our inaction.
If the Senate favors inaction over courage and gimmicks over common ground, the risk is not that we will fail to move forward. It is that we will fall behind, we will stay behind and we will surrender our promise to those who are more than willing to turn our squandered opportunity into their advantage. The world keeps turning; the Senate cannot afford to forever stand still.
Just as failing to deal with our deficit and our debt puts our long-term interests at risk, so does taking America to the brink of default. Our self-inflicted wounds reduce our leverage and influence in the world. And by failing to act, Congress is making it harder to actually advance America’s interests, and making it harder for American business to compete and for American workers to succeed. If America is to continue to lead the free world, this must end.
Now we’ve all bemoaned the lack of comity in the Senate, but you who remain here will have the power to restore it. The choice to work respectfully with one another is about as simple as it gets.
One suggestion perhaps while I’m honored by the presence of so many colleagues here now, Republicans, Democrats, I have to say we would all look forward to more days when United States Senate desks are full with Senators debating and deliberating, learning, listening, and leading. We would all be stronger if this Chamber is once again crowded because it is the world’s greatest deliberative body, the home of debate and deliberation, and not only when it becomes a departure lounge.
There is another challenge we must address – and it is the corrupting force of the vast sums of money necessary to run for office. The unending chase for money, I believe, threatens to steal our democracy itself. I’ve used the word corrupting – and I mean by it not the corruption of individuals, but a corruption of a system itself that all of us are forced to participate in against our will. The alliance of money and the interests it represents, the access it affords those who have it at the expense of those who don’t, the agenda it changes or sets by virtue of its power, is steadily silencing the voice of the vast majority of Americans who have a much harder time competing, or who can’t compete at all.
The insidious intention of that money is to set the agenda, change the agenda, block the agenda, define the agenda of Washington. How else could we possibly have a US tax code of some 76,000 pages? Ask yourself, how many Americans have their own page, their own tax break, their own special deal?
We should not resign ourselves Mr. President to a distorted system that corrodes our democracy. This is what contributes to the justified anger of the American people. They know it. They know we know it. And yet nothing happens. The truth requires that we call the corrosion of money in politics what it is: it is a form of corruption and it muzzles more Americans than it empowers, and it is an imbalance that the world has taught us can only sow the seeds of unrest.
Like the question of comity in the Senate, the influence of money in our politics also influences our credibility around the world. And so too does the difficulty, the unacceptable and extraordinary difficulty, we have in 2013 in operating the machinery of our own democracy here at home. How extraordinary and how diminishing that more than 40 years after the Voting Rights Act, so many of our fellow citizens still have great difficulty when they show up on election day to cast their vote and have their voice heard. That too is an issue that matters to all of us – because for a country that can and should extol the virtues of democracy around the world, our job is made more difficult when through long lines and overt voter suppression, and efforts to suppress people’s ability to exercise the right that we extol, so many struggle still to exercise that right here at home.
The last of these three obstacles that we have the ability, if not yet the will, to overcome is the unbelievable disregard for facts and science in the conduct of our affairs. It, like the first two, degrades our credibility abroad as well as at home.
My friends, the persistent shouting match of the perpetual campaign, one that takes place in parallel universes thanks to our polarized, self-selecting media, makes it harder and harder to build consensus among people. The people don’t know what to believe. So in many ways it encourages an oversimplification of problems that too often retreat to slogans, not ideas for real solutions.
America, I regret to say, is increasingly defaulting rather than choosing — and so we fail to keep pace with other nations in the renewal of our infrastructure, in the improvement of our schools, in the choice of our energy sources, in the care and nurturing of our children, in the fulfillment of our God-given responsibility to protect life here on earth. That too must change or our experiment is at risk.
To remain a great nation, we must do the business of our country. That begins by putting our economic house in order. And it begins by working from the same set of facts.
Though I believe we can’t solve any of these problems unless you really solve all of them, I note these three challenges because I believe the Senate is going to be locked into stalemate or our politics are going to be irreversibly poisoned unless we break out. I do so hopefully, as someone who respects and loves this institution and loves this country and wants to see us move forward.
Some things we know are moving forward. In the same time that comity has decreased and the influence has money has increased, I have seen the Senate change for the better. These halls used to be filled with the voices of men and men only. Decisions affecting more than half the population were made by people representing the other half. When I walked into the Old Senate Chamber to take my first ceremonial oath 28 years ago, I was joined by my two teenage daughters. It struck me that I had twice as many daughters as there were women in the Senate. Today, with the service of 20 women, including Massachusetts’ new junior Senator, this is a stronger, smarter place; more representative of our belief that out of many, we are one; more capable of fulfilling the vision carried from Washington to Webster to our current President that we are a stronger nation when our leadership reflects our population.
We have made huge strides in turning the page on gay rights. In 1993, I testified before Strom Thurman’s Armed Services Committee pushing to lift the ban on gays serving in the military and I ran into a world of misperceptions. I thought I was on a Saturday Night Live skit. Today at last, that policy is gone forever and we are a country that honors the commitment of all willing to fight and die for our country. We’ve gone from the Senate that passed DOMA over my objections to one that just welcomed its first openly gay Senator. There are good changes that have taken place for our Senate and our country. But we have more work to do. This place needs more women, more people of color, more diversity of background and experience.
But it is still a remarkable place. I’m reminded of the letters Harry Truman used to write home to his wife, Bess, as he sat in the back row of the chamber. Late one night, after one of the great debates of the New Deal era, he wrote, “I hear my colleagues, and I pinch myself and ask, ‘How did I get here?’” Several months later, he wrote Bess once more: “Again it is late at night and I am sitting here listening to the debate, I look across the aisle at my colleagues and I listen and listen, and I hear my colleagues and I ask myself, How did they get here?”
Well, I have no doubt that colleagues have asked that question about me or any one of us. Its been back and forth. But, 29 years after I came here, I have learnt something about how you solve that.
I learned that the Senate runs on relationships. I know that some of my more recent colleagues, sent here in tumultuous election cycles, hear that and think it’s code for checking their beliefs at the door, and “going Washington.” It’s not -- and I’d add, don’t kid yourself: no one got here on a platform of pledging to join an exclusive club and forget where they came from.
When I say that relationships matter, I don’t mean back-slapping, glad-handing, hail-fellow well-met, go-along-to-get-along relationships. I mean real relationships.
And today’s hard charging colleagues who came to Washington to shake things up, I’d remind them: so did I, so did Tom Harkin, and the others I mentioned. If I told you that a 40-year-old newly minted Senator John Kerry was going to tell you that relationships matter most, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. I cut my teeth in grassroots activism. I didn’t come up through the political ranks. I burst onto the scene as an activist and when you’re an activist, all that singularly matters to the exclusion of almost all else are the issues. Where are you on an issue. Right or wrong and that’s the ballgame. Wrong, that’s not the ballgame.
That’s not what makes a good Senator. That’s not what makes the Senate work.
My late colleague of 25 years, Ted Kennedy, taught me that. I saw him late nights on the Senate floor sitting with his colleagues. Talking. Listening. He wanted to know about your state. He wanted to know about your family. He wanted to know why you came here. He had a unique ability to know not just what he needed from you, on a vote or a piece of legislation, but to know what you needed on a personal level, as a friend, as a colleague, as a partner. My old friend now Vice President, Joe Biden, had a saying in his family: “if you have to ask, it’s too late.” With Teddy, you never had to ask, he already knew - and he was there. He was there on a foggy morning on Nantucket when my father passed away, when Teddy just materialized almost out of nowhere, and there he was there at my front door. He didn’t call ahead. He didn’t ask. He just came to mark the passage. He came to listen. He was there. It was an instinct for people and an impulse to help. He taught that to so many of during that period time somewhere along the line, he passed it on not just to me, but to others in my class of Senators who came here in 1984. I will never forget in 2007, on the day when I announced I wouldn’t be running again for President, a tough day, another passage, when I got a call that Tom Harkin wanted to come see me. My staff surmised that he was probably coming to ask for money for the Iowa Democratic Party. They were wrong. It was a visit where Tom came just to share a few words that were very simple but which meant the world to me. A colleague visiting just to say he was proud that I was our party’s nominee in 2004 and that he looked forward to working with me more in this institution. Let me tell you, those are the conversations that make the difference, that you never forget, and that is the Senate at its best, the place where relationships matter most.
And it matters. Because Teddy and Tom Harkin and so many others here understood instinctively that if 100 Senators really knew each other, and our leader has worked very hard to try to find a way to make this happen, then you can find ways to work together.
And, to my surprise, I learned it and lived it in my time here in ways I never could’ve predicted, alongside people I never thought I’d count among my proudest friends.
John McCain last week introduced me at my confirmation hearing. John and I met here in the Senate coming from very different positions and perspectives. We both loved the Navy. I still do to this day, but I had different feelings from John about a war. For both of us, Vietnam was a demarcation point in our lives the way it was for so many of our generation.
But here in the Senate, late one night on a CODEL – for people listening who don’t know, it’s a trip of Senators, Congressmen going somewhere in the world – we were going to Kuwait after the first Gulf War, John and I found ourselves on a C-130 sitting opposite each other. Neither one of us could sleep, so we talked. We talked late into the night about our lives and our war.
Shortly thereafter, George Mitchell and Bob Dole threw us together on a select committee to investigate the fate of Americans still missing from the war in which we’d fought. It was a tough time and an emotional issue in an era where Rambo was a box office smash and Newsweek magazine cover printed provocative photos which asked whether Americans were still alive over there.
Into that cacophonous cauldron, John McCain and I were thrown together. Some were suspicious of both of us. But together we found common ground. I will never forget standing with John in the very cell in the Hanoi Hilton in which he spent a number of years of his life, just the two of us, alone in the cell listening to him talk about that experience. I will always be grateful for his partnership in helping to make real peace with Vietnam by establishing the most significant process in the history of our country, or of any country, for the accounting for missing and dead in any war, and afterwards then working to lift the embargo and ultimately normalizing relations with an old enemy. John had every reason to hate but he didn’t. Instead, we were able to heal deep wounds and end a war that divided an awful lot of people for much too long. And that is a common experience and only the relationships forged in the Senate could have made that happen.
John has this great expression, “a fight not joined is a fight not enjoyed.” He loves to debate, he loves to battle. And so do I. But I’ll tell you having fought besides him and fought against him, I can tell you it’s a heck of a lot better and more fun to have John fighting alongside you.
And we still have differences. There’s been a lot of newsprint has been used up covering some of them. But we both care about the Senate as an institution, and we both care about our country’s leadership in the world, even when we see it differently. And we both know that at some point, America’s got to come together.
We’ve shared this common experience and we’ve seen a lot together. We both were able to travel the country as the presidential nominee for our party and both returned to the Senate to carry on in a different way. Few people know what all that feels like. But just being by his side in Hanoi made it impossible not to be overwhelmed by his sense of patriotism, and his devotion to country. But it meant something else: if you can stand on the kind of common ground we found at the Hanoi Hilton, finding common ground on issues isn’t hard at all. I will always thank John McCain for that lesson. One of the magical things about the Senate is this amazing mix of people and how they can come together to make something happen.
I have learned and been impressed by the experiences of every single one of my colleagues and I honestly marvel at each state’s special character in the people they send here. I have learned from all: from the fiery, street-smart social worker from Maryland; from a down-to-earth, no-nonsense farmer from Montana; from a principled, conservative doctor from Oklahoma; from an amazingly tenacious advocate for women and the environment who blazed a trail from Brooklyn to Rancho Mirage and the United States Senate, who teams with a former Mayor of San Francisco who took office after the assassination of Harvey Milk and is committed to stand against violence and for equality; from a cantankerous, maverick patriot and former prisoner of war from Arizona; from a songwriting, original compassionate conservative from Utah; from a fervent, gravel-voiced people’s champion from Ohio; from a soft-spoken, loyal Medal of Honor winner from Hawaii who used to sit right here, from a college professor turned proud prairie populist and Senate Pied Piper taken from all us far too soon and far too quickly. From every member of the Senate, there are characteristics, passions, quirks and beliefs that bring this place alive and unite to make it the most extraordinary legislative body on earth.
That’s what I love about the Senate.
I love that instead of fighting against each other, Bill Frist, the former Republican Leader, and I were able to join forces to fight HIV and AIDS around the globe, and to convince an unlikely conservative named Jesse Helms to support and pass a bill unanimously that has saved millions of lives on our planet. That’s what makes this place so special.
Instead of ignoring a freshman Senator, Chairman Claiborne Pell allowed me to pass my very first amendment to change our policy on the Philippines, and so I found myself with Dick Lugar paired as Senate election observers who helped expose the voter fraud of the Marcos regime, ending a dictatorship and giving a nation of more than 90 million people the opportunity to know democracy again. That’s what the Senate can do, and that’s what I love about it.
Instead of focusing on our different accents and opposite ideologies, Jesse Helms and I found that our concern for illegal drugs was greater than any political differences between us, and so Jesse made it possible for an investigation to proceed and for the Senate to expose the linkages between the Contras in Nicaragua and the flow of drugs to American cities. That’s what the Senate can do.
Mr. President, the Senate can still work if we learn from and listen to each other — two responsibilities that are, like Webster said about liberty and union, “one and inseparable.”
And so as I offer my final words on the Senate floor, I remember that I came of age in a Senate where freshman Senators didn’t speak all that often.
Senators no longer hold their tongues through whole sessions of Congress, and they shouldn’t. Their voices are just as valuable, and their votes count just as much as the most tenured member of this body. But being heard by others does not exempt them from listening to others.
I came to the National Mall in 1971 with fellow veterans who wanted only to talk to our leaders about the war. President Nixon tried to kick us off the Mall. We knocked on door after door on Capitol Hill, but too often couldn’t get an audience with our representatives. A precious few, including Ted Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey, came to where we were camped out and heard what we had to say. And I saw first-hand that our political process works only when leaders are willing to listen — to each other, but also to everyone else.
That is how I first came to the Senate — not with my vote, but with my voice — and that is why the end of my tenure here is in many ways a bookend.
Forty-two years ago, I testified before Senator Fulbright’s Foreign Relations Committee about the realities of war in Vietnam.
It wasn’t until last week that I would sit before that Committee again, this time testifying in my own confirmation hearing. It completed a circle, which I could never have imagined drawing, but one our Founders surely did: That a citizen voicing his opinion about a matter of personal and national consequence could one day use that voice as a Senator, as the Chairman of that same Committee before which he had once testified a private citizen, and then as the President’s nominee for Secretary of State — that is a fitting representation of what we mean when we talk about a government “of the people, for the people and by the people.”
In the decades between then and now, this is what I’ve learned above all else: The privilege of being here is in being able to listen to your constituents. It is the people and their voices – much more than the marble buildings and the inimitable institutions they house – that determine whether or not our democracy works.
In my first appearance before the United States Senate, at the Fulbright Hearings, I began by saying, “I am not here as John Kerry. I am here as one member of the group of one thousand, which is a small representation of a much larger group.”
I feel much the same way today, as I leave. We are still symbols, representatives of the people who have given us the honor to speak and advocate and vote in their name. And that, as the Bible says, is a “charge to keep.”
I didn't watch it, but here is the text of Scary Kerry's farewell speech to the Senate today...rather boring and typical rhetoric, but he does mention his first time testifying before the Senate about the 'realities of war in Vietnam'. Of course no mention of his criticisms for serving in a war he didn't agree with and acting as a traitor to his own country. He mentions his s upport of repealing DADT and his opposition of DOMA and calls them good changes, but that there is more work to do. He is another example and reason we need term limits for Congress....they should not be able to be re-elected more than two terms, just like the POTUS. We should be able to clean house every time we get a new administration.
Read more at the link...if you can stand it....sad he was confirmed by the GOP as the next Secretary of State. I think only one or two GOP Senators didn't vote for him.
Family Threatened with Possible Prison Sentence for Rescuing a Baby Deer
Now it's against the law to help an animal...and wrong for a cat to eat a mouse. What a bunch of backwards thinking.
It's an Obama world. Now the progressive loons want "policy intervention" to protect mice from cats. A recent study found that cats are killing mice at an astonishing rate.
Now, I've heard it all...liberals want to create a law to keep cats from eating mice and other small vermon?? Don't they know nature has it's own life cycle and it's about survival of the fittest, especially in the animal kingdom. This is insanity.
Student opened fire at his middle school, wounding a 14-year-old in the neck before an armed officer working at the school was able to get the gun away
(AP) ATLANTA - A student opened fire at his middle school Thursday afternoon, wounding a 14-year-old in the neck before an armed officer working at the school was able to get the gun away, police said.
Multiple shots were fired in the courtyard of Price Middle School just south of downtown about 1:50 p.m. and the one boy was hit, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said. In the aftermath, a teacher received minor cuts, he said.
The wounded boy was taken "alert, conscious and breathing" to Grady Memorial Hospital, said police spokesman Carlos Campos. Grady Heath System Spokeswoman Denise Simpson said the teen had been discharged from the hospital Thursday night. Campos said charges against the shooter were pending.
Police swarmed the school of about 400 students after reports of the shooting while a crowd of anxious parents gathered in the streets, awaiting word on their children. Students were kept at the locked-down school for more than two hours before being dismissed.
Investigators believe the shooting was not random and that something occurred between the two students that may have led to it.
Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis said the school does have metal detectors.
"The obvious question is how did this get past a metal detector?" Davis asked about the gun. "That's something we do not know yet."
The armed resource officer who took the gun away was off-duty and at the school, but police didn't release details on him or whether he is regularly at Price. Since 20 children and six adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December, calls for armed officers in every school have resonated across the country.
So good guys with guns at schools do help prevent mass shootings and in this case disarmed the shooter from shooting anyone else.
This student is lucky the off-duty resource officer was there or he could have been shot several times, along with others in the area. This proves armed resource officers are needed in our schools or armed law enforcement. Since teachers can't be everywhere, I'd recommened armed officers at entrances of every building, as well as allowing teachers who want to carry a concealed weapon to get training for disarming/shooting an active shooter should they enter the classroom.
If schools and the Obama administration would have listened to NRA CEO's recommendation last month there would have been at least three less school shootings recently. These shootings are happening at schools where perpetrators know there is not anyone to retaliate and in this case we don't know if this armed security officer is regularly at the school or not, but thankfully he was there when he was.
Republican lawmakers are threatening to subpoena Internal Revenue Service documents over claims that the administration improperly expanded the availability of subsidies under the federal health care overhaul. (Republicans threaten to subpoena IRS...
Good, so many investigations and sadly so little is being done to follow up and pursue the corruption. So far Obama has gotten away with treason to lying about Fast and Furious, Benghazi and investments in bankrupt green energy programs. There are so many lies and corrupt activities this administration has done I don't even know if anyone can keep up. Not to mention the more treasonous incidents. I think there is a list of several of these things at http://obamalies.net but whether any of these investigations are followed up on is another story. One that we are likely not to see happen, as Obama continues to chip away at our Constitution, religious liberty, second amendment, and other personal freedoms.
President Barack Obama visited Cree Monday to tour one of our LED lighting manufacturing lines, meet with his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and to addr... (President Barack Obama Visiting CREE LED Lighting and Endorsing their Products.
I came across this video while browsing my scoop feed today. What kind of junk is he trying to get everyone to buy now?? More mercury filled lights?? This was video from June 2011, I wonder if this company was subsidized with taxpayer money and if they are bankrupt yet like Solyndra and others??
In the video he appears with his so called "Jobs Council'' who were to help him create more American jobs, ironically today they were fired because Obama only met a few times in the past four years with them. I guess he thinks the economy is fixed, despite unemployment being stagnate and no better than it was when he was elected in 2008.
LIVE streaming video from 11Alive News.
According to Atlanta Fire Department Capt. Marian McDaniel, there was a 14-year-old girl who had been shot in the head. Grady Memorial Hospital says they have received one under-aged gunshot victim.
Reports that students from another school arrived and they continued a fight from earlier and it escalated....as students heard gun shots, students scattered and trampled a teacher and the 14yrold student is expected to survive, despite being shot in the back of the neck. Earlier it was reported she was shot in the head. Nobody else was shot and the school is expected to dismiss students at their regularly scheduled time.
It's sad that these shootings continue to happen in these gun free zones...from schools to office buildings and parks. While it seems all too common lately, especially with at least four since Newtown, CT last month, these shootings are still rare in the overall sense of crime.
This past week there has been a student shot and killed in Chicago standing in a park with friends, only a mile from where Obama's Chicago home resides. Then the 'crazy man' boarded a school bus in Alabama, shot the bus driver and abducted a young boy and is holding him hostage in an underground bunker for the past three days. Then yesterday another man went on a rampage and shot an attorney during a mediation hearing in Phoenix, AZ and earlier today an attorney prosecuting and investigating the Aryan Brotherhood was shot and killed in Texas.
Since Newtown, there have been at least three other school shootings, one at a business school by a mentally disturbed man who had a warrant, another by a disturbed student who said he had been bullied and now today's shooting in Atlanta.
It's sad that these people are abusing their rights to own weapons if they obtained them legally, however the majority of school shootings are done by young people who steal the weapon from a family member. Sadly, the media always focuses on tragedy and violence rather than the good, such as when people are saved by their gun and able to protect themselves or others from crime. You don't hear the media reports going on for hours at a time or days at a time when something good happens and perhaps if they focused more on the good things and the lives saved rather than the rare tragic incidents there would be less of these shootings and less focus on violence. However, as they say sex sales and so does violence and that is also what the liberal entertainment industry pushes on us and the news also likes to exploit for ratings.
To hear more about the good that guns do, check out http://gunssavelives.com
In the hands of a criminal or mentally disturbed person anything can be an ''assault weapon''. An assault is an action you take, not the type of weapon you use.
The order from the judge, Col. James L. Pohl of the Army, followed a mysterious interruption on Monday of a feed from the military tribunal courtoom in Guantánamo Bay.
Hmmm...heard under Obama reporters are no longer allowed inside Gitmo...I wonder if it is because he has been spending thousands of dollars upgrading it with a soccer field and other resort amenities??
At a time of record deficits, a new soccer field for detainees at Camp 6 in Guantanamo Bay is just getting the finishing touches -- at a cost of $750,000 to taxpayers.
The project was the highlight of a tour Tuesday of the detention camp for reporters at the facility covering the arraignment in a military court of Majid Khan, a former Baltimore resident and the the only legal U.S. resident on trial at Guantanamo.
The project began in April 2011 and is due to finish this spring.
The Guantanamo Bay Gazette, the paper of the naval base, estimates the cost of the track to be $400,000.
As of 2010, the go kart track was supposedly basically unused, as were a majority of the other improvements that were made to the base.
After the attacks of 9/11, money started pouring into Guantanamo from the government. $249,000 was spent on a volleyball court, $3.5 million on a bunch of playgrounds, $683,000 to renovate a Starbucks, and $296,000 to build a go kart track.
Guantanamo Bay - home to a controversial detention camp of the same name where the U.S. holds prisoners in notoriously difficultconditions. The prison is not somewhere one would ordinarily choose to stay, but a group of lawyers have requested to do exactly that. Lawyers defending those accused of plotting the September 11 attacks in the U.S. in 2001 are seeking permission to spend 48 hours in the top secret facility, with follow up visits every 6 months.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe did not hold back in his questioning of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel during Hagel's confirmation hearings to be secretary of defense Thursday.
”The question I would like to ask you and you can answer it for the record if you like: Why do you think the Iranian foreign ministry so strongly supports your nomination to be secretary of defense?”
“I have a difficult enough time with American politics, senator,” Hagel responded. “I have no idea.”
With his question, Inhofe was most likely referring to a statement from an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman earlier this month saying Iran was hopeful that Hagel’s nomination would bring positive changes to American policy toward the Islamic Republic.
LOL, I guess this blew the lid off Hagel's defense. I didn't get to watch but his reply is vague and obviously shows he's in denial and has an inability to lead our Defense Dept when he said "I have a difficult enough time with American politics..."
More than 1,100 former and current Green Berets have put their names to a letter condemning any efforts to restrict gun ownership.
More than 1,100 former and current Army Special Forces troops -- Green Berets -- have reportedly put their names to a letter condemning any efforts to restrict gun ownership following the massacre of 20 students and six staff at Sandy Hill Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The 2,900-word letter has been distributed to media outlets and posted on Professionalsoldiers.com, which is operated by retired Army Special Forces Master Sgt. Jeff Hinton. Because of the sensitive nature of their military careers the names of those signing the letter are not being released.
Hinton -- who has routinely exposed phony Green Berets and others on his website -- said he has confirmed that everyone who put his name to the letter is a current or former Special Forces soldier. Military.com could not validate all 1,100 names by press time.
Hinton's original goal was to collect 100 signatures. He was surprised by the response he received.
The letter makes the case for allowing civilians to own and use a military-style assault rifle, in particular the AR-15, as well as high-capacity magazines that can hold in excess of 10 rounds.
While the AR-15 is designed to look like the Army's M4A1 rifle, it is not able to fire automatically and cannot be reconfigured to do so, the letter states. As for limiting magazines to 10 rounds, they wrote "it is our considered opinion that reducing magazine capacity from 30 rounds to 10 rounds will only require an additional 6 -8 seconds to change two empty 10-round magazines with full magazines.
"Would an increase of 6 -8 seconds make any real difference to the outcome in a mass shooting incident? In our opinion it would not."
The view offered by the Special Forces soldiers is markedly different than that given by retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of forces in Afghanistan, who also came out of the Special Forces community.
In its letter, the group states they also are "loving and caring fathers and grandfathers" who have been "stunned, horrified, and angered by the tragedies of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Fort Hood, and Sandy Hook."
But solutions cannot and will not be found in new laws restricting gun ownership, the group wrote. The writers argue that the Supreme Court has maintained the right for citizens to own weapons in common use, which does not rule out military-style weapons.
In its letter, the group also offers several recommendations it says will help solve gun-violence, including gun-safety programs in schools, legislation mandating that court-determined mentally ill people undergo treatment, and giving border states the job of implementing border control laws to prevent illegal shipments of both firearms and drugs.
The government intercepts only about 10 percent of illegal drugs coming into the country, while its attempt to track illegal guns has also proven a failure, the group said, pointing to the "Fast and Furious" program that allowed criminals to buy and move guns.
"Given this dismal performance record that is misguided and inept … we believe that border states will be far more competent at this mission," the group says.
The group also supports passing Assisted Outpatient Treatment laws to allow courts to require individuals with mental disorders to comply with treatment.
"In each of the mass shooting incidents the perpetrator was mentally unstable," the group wrote in the letter. "We also believe that people who have been adjudicated as incompetent should be simultaneously examined to determine whether they should be allowed the right to retain/purchase firearms.
As for schools, which have been the sites of several mass murders in recent history, the group supports state and local boards developing security measures they deem necessary. This includes arming staff, if that is their wish. The group also calls for firearms safety instruction -- such as the National Rifle Association's "Eddie the Eagle" program -- in classrooms.
The repeal of the "Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990," does not work but establishes schools as tempting targets to anyone wanting to inflict violence, the group said in their letter.
The group also recommends that gratuitous violence in movies and video games be discouraged, citing research showing links between the exposure to those popular mediums and desensitization to actual violence.
"We believe that it is time that we take personal responsibility for our choices and actions rather than abdicate that responsibility to someone else under the illusion that we have done something that will make us all safer," the group states. "We have a responsibility to stand by our principles and act in accordance with them. Our children are watching and they will follow the example we set."
Here is the text of the letter:
A Letter From The Special Forces Community Concerning The Second AmendmentPosted on January 29, 2013 by Bulldog1
I received this letter from members of the SOF community on their concerns for America and the Second Amendment. This letter was signed by over 1100 members of the SOF community, of which the names will not be published as this is Active and Retired members.
Whether you agree with it or not, it is well worth the read.
29 Jan 2013
Protecting the Second Amendment – Why all Americans Should Be Concerned
We are current or former Army Reserve, National Guard, and active duty US Army Special Forces soldiers (Green Berets). We have all taken an oath to “…support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.…” The Constitution of the United States is without a doubt the single greatest document in the history of mankind, codifying the fundamental principle of governmental power and authority being derived from and granted through the consent of the governed. Our Constitution established a system of governance that preserves, protects, and holds sacrosanct the individual rights and primacy of the governed as well as providing for the explicit protection of the governed from governmental tyranny and/or oppression. We have witnessed the insidious and iniquitous effects of tyranny and oppression on people all over the world. We and our forebears have embodied and personified our organizational motto, De Oppresso Liber [To Free the Oppressed], for more than a half century as we have fought, shed blood, and died in the pursuit of freedom for the oppressed.
Like you, we are also loving and caring fathers and grandfathers. Like you, we have been stunned, horrified, and angered by the tragedies of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Fort Hood, and Sandy Hook; and like you, we are searching for solutions to the problem of gun-related crimes in our society. Many of us are educators in our second careers and have a special interest to find a solution to this problem. However, unlike much of the current vox populi reactions to this tragedy, we offer a different perspective.
First, we need to set the record straight on a few things. The current debate is over so-called “assault weapons” and high capacity magazines. The terms “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” are often confused. According to Bruce H. Kobayashi and Joseph E. Olson, writing in the Stanford Law and Policy Review, “Prior to 1989, the term ‘assault weapon’ did not exist in the lexicon of firearms. It is a political term [underline added for emphasis], developed by anti-gun publicists to expand the category of assault rifles.”
The M4A1 carbine is a U.S. military service rifle – it is an assault rifle. The AR-15 is not an assault rifle. The “AR” in its name does not stand for “Assault Rifle” – it is the designation from the first two letters of the manufacturer’s name – ArmaLite Corporation. The AR-15 is designed so that it cosmetically looks like the M4A1 carbine assault rifle, but it is impossible to configure the AR-15 to be a fully automatic assault rifle. It is a single shot semi-automatic rifle that can fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute depending on the skill of the operator. The M4A1 can fire up to 950 rounds per minute. In 1986, the federal government banned the import or manufacture of new fully automatic firearms for sale to civilians. Therefore, the sale of assault rifles are already banned or heavily restricted!
The second part of the current debate is over “high capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 rounds in the magazine. As experts in military weapons of all types, it is our considered opinion that reducing magazine capacity from 30 rounds to 10 rounds will only require an additional 6 -8 seconds to change two empty 10 round magazines with full magazines. Would an increase of 6 –8 seconds make any real difference to the outcome in a mass shooting incident? In our opinion it would not. Outlawing such “high capacity magazines” would, however, outlaw a class of firearms that are “in common use”. As such this would be in contravention to the opinion expressed by the U.S. Supreme Court recent decisions.
Moreover, when the Federal Assault Weapons Ban became law in 1994, manufacturers began retooling to produce firearms and magazines that were compliant. One of those ban-compliant firearms was the Hi-Point 995, which was sold with ten-round magazines. In 1999, five years into the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Columbine High School massacre occurred. One of the perpetrators, Eric Harris, was armed with a Hi-Point 995. Undeterred by the ten-round capacity of his magazines, Harris simply brought more of them: thirteen magazines would be found in the massacre’s aftermath. Harris fired 96 rounds before killing himself.
Now that we have those facts straight, in our opinion, it is too easy to conclude that the problem is guns and that the solution to the problem is more and stricter gun control laws. For politicians, it is politically expedient to take that position and pass more gun control laws and then claim to constituents that they have done the right thing in the interest of protecting our children. Who can argue with that? Of course we all want to find a solution. But, is the problem really guns? Would increasing gun regulation solve the problem? Did we outlaw cars to combat drunk driving?
What can we learn from experiences with this issue elsewhere? We cite the experience in Great Britain. Despite the absence of a “gun culture”, Great Britain, with one-fifth the population of the U.S., has experienced mass shootings that are eerily similar to those we have experienced in recent years. In 1987 a lone gunman killed 18 people in Hungerford. What followed was the Firearms Act of 1988 making registration mandatory and banning semi-automatic guns and pump-action shotguns. Despite this ban, on March 13, 1996 a disturbed 43-year old former scout leader, Thomas Hamilton, murdered 16 school children aged five and six and a teacher at a primary school in Dunblane, Scotland. Within a year and a half the Firearms Act was amended to ban all private ownership of hand guns. After both shootings there were amnesty periods resulting in the surrender of thousands of firearms and ammunition. Despite having the toughest gun control laws in the world, gun related crimes increased in 2003 by 35% over the previous year with firearms used in 9,974 recorded crimes in the preceding 12 months. Gun related homicides were up 32% over the same period. Overall, gun related crime had increased 65% since the Dunblane massacre and implementation of the toughest gun control laws in the developed world. In contrast, in 2009 (5 years after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired) total firearm related homicides in the U.S. declined by 9% from the 2005 high (Source: “FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Master File, Table 310, Murder Victims – Circumstances and Weapons Used or Cause of Death: 2000-2009”).
Protecting the Second Amendment – Why all Americans Should Be Concerned
Are there unintended consequences to stricter gun control laws and the politically expedient path that we have started down?
In a recent op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, Brett Joshpe stated that “Gun advocates will be hard-pressed to explain why the average American citizen needs an assault weapon with a high-capacity magazine other than for recreational purposes.”We agree with Kevin D. Williamson (National Review Online, December 28, 2012): “The problem with this argument is that there is no legitimate exception to the Second Amendment right that excludes military-style weapons, because military-style weapons are precisely what the Second Amendment guarantees our right to keep and bear.”
“The purpose of the Second Amendment is to secure our ability to oppose enemies foreign and domestic, a guarantee against disorder and tyranny. Consider the words of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story”: ‘The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defense of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.’
The Second Amendment has been ruled to specifically extend to firearms “in common use” by the military by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v Miller (1939). In Printz v U.S. (1997) Justice Thomas wrote: “In Miller we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen’s right to possess a sawed-off shot gun because that weapon had not been shown to be “ordinary military equipment” that could “could contribute to the common defense”.
A citizen’s right to keep and bear arms for personal defense unconnected with service in a militia has been reaffirmed in the U.S. Supreme Court decision (District of Columbia, et al. v Heller, 2008). The Court Justice Scalia wrote in the majority opinion: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.“. Justice Scalia went on to define a militia as “… comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense ….”
On September 13, 1994, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban went into effect. A Washington Post editorial published two days later was candid about the ban’s real purpose:“[N]o one should have any illusions about what was accomplished [by the ban]. Assault weapons play a part in only a small percentage of crime. The provision is mainly symbolic; its virtue will be if it turns out to be, as hoped, a stepping stone to broader gun control.”
In a challenge to the authority of the Federal government to require State and Local Law Enforcement to enforce Federal Law (Printz v United States) the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in 1997. For the majority opinion Justice Scalia wrote: “…. this Court never has sanctioned explicitly a federal command to the States to promulgate and enforce laws and regulations When we were at last confronted squarely with a federal statute that unambiguously required the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program, our decision should have come as no surprise….. It is an essential attribute of the States’ retained sovereignty that they remain independent and autonomous within their proper sphere of authority.”
So why should non-gun owners, a majority of Americans, care about maintaining the 2nd Amendment right for citizens to bear arms of any kind?
The answer is “The Battle of Athens, TN”. The Cantrell family had controlled the economy and politics of McMinn County, Tennessee since the 1930s. Paul Cantrell had been Sheriff from 1936 -1940 and in 1942 was elected to the State Senate. His chief deputy, Paul Mansfield, was subsequently elected to two terms as Sheriff. In 1946 returning WWII veterans put up a popular candidate for Sheriff. On August 1 Sheriff Mansfield and 200 “deputies” stormed the post office polling place to take control of the ballot boxes wounding an objecting observer in the process. The veterans bearing military style weapons, laid siege to the Sheriff’s office demanding return of the ballot boxes for public counting of the votes as prescribed in Tennessee law. After exchange of gun fire and blowing open the locked doors, the veterans secured the ballot boxes thereby protecting the integrity of the election. And this is precisely why all Americans should be concerned about protecting all of our right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment!
Throughout history, disarming the populace has always preceded tyrants’ accession of power. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all disarmed their citizens prior to installing their murderous regimes. At the beginning of our own nation’s revolution, one of the first moves made by the British government was an attempt to disarm our citizens. When our Founding Fathers ensured that the 2nd Amendment was made a part of our Constitution, they were not just wasting ink. They were acting to ensure our present security was never forcibly endangered by tyrants, foreign or domestic.
If there is a staggering legal precedent to protect our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms and if stricter gun control laws are not likely to reduce gun related crime, why are we having this debate? Other than making us and our elected representatives feel better because we think that we are doing something to protect our children, these actions will have no effect and will only provide us with a false sense of security.
Protecting the Second Amendment – Why all Americans Should Be Concerned
So, what do we believe will be effective? First, it is important that we recognize that this is not a gun control problem; it is a complex sociological problem. No single course of action will solve the problem. Therefore, it is our recommendation that a series of diverse steps be undertaken, the implementation of which will require patience and diligence to realize an effect.
These are as follows:
1. First and foremost we support our Second Amendment right in that “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.
2. We support State and Local School Boards in their efforts to establish security protocols in whatever manner and form that they deem necessary and adequate. One of the great strengths of our Republic is that State and Local governments can be creative in solving problems. Things that work can be shared. Our point is that no one knows what will work and there is no one single solution, so let’s allow the State and Local governments with the input of the citizens to make the decisions. Most recently the Cleburne Independent School District will become the first district in North Texas to consider allowing some teachers to carry concealed guns. We do not opine as to the appropriateness of this decision, but we do support their right to make this decision for themselves.
3. We recommend that Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) laws be passed in every State. AOT is formerly known as Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC) and allows the courts to order certain individuals with mental disorders to comply with treatment while living in the community. In each of the mass shooting incidents the perpetrator was mentally unstable. We also believe that people who have been adjudicated as incompetent should be simultaneously examined to determine whether they should be allowed the right to retain/purchase firearms.
4. We support the return of firearm safety programs to schools along the lines of the successful “Eddie the Eagle” program, which can be taught in schools by Peace Officers or other trained professionals.
5. Recent social psychology research clearly indicates that there is a direct relationship between gratuitously violent movies/video games and desensitization to real violence and increased aggressive behavior particularly in children and young adults (See Nicholas L. Carnagey, et al. 2007. “The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence” and the references therein. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 43:489-496). Therefore, we strongly recommend that gratuitous violence in movies and video games be discouraged. War and war-like behavior should not be glorified. Hollywood and video game producers are exploiting something they know nothing about. General Sherman famously said “War is Hell!” Leave war to the Professionals. War is not a game and should not be “sold” as entertainment to our children.
6. We support repeal of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it obviously isn’t working. It is our opinion that “Gun-Free Zones” anywhere are too tempting of an environment for the mentally disturbed individual to inflict their brand of horror with little fear of interference. While governmental and non-governmental organizations, businesses, and individuals should be free to implement a Gun-Free Zone if they so choose, they should also assume Tort liability for that decision.
7. We believe that border states should take responsibility for implementation of border control laws to prevent illegal shipments of firearms and drugs. Drugs have been illegal in this country for a long, long time yet the Federal Government manages to seize only an estimated 10% of this contraband at our borders. Given this dismal performance record that is misguided and inept (“Fast and Furious”), we believe that border States will be far more competent at this mission.
8. This is our country, these are our rights. We believe that it is time that we take personal responsibility for our choices and actions rather than abdicate that responsibility to someone else under the illusion that we have done something that will make us all safer. We have a responsibility to stand by our principles and act in accordance with them. Our children are watching and they will follow the example we set.
The undersigned Quiet Professionals hereby humbly stand ever present, ever ready, and ever vigilant.
1100 Green Berets Signed this Letter
We have a list of all their names and unlike any MSM outlets we can confirm that over 1100 Green Berets did sign. The list includes Special Forces Major Generals & Special Forces Command Sergeants Major down to the lowest ranking “Green Beret”.
The letter stands for itself.
Read it and send it everywhere.
We have a PDF copy if anyone wants it, we will email it to you if you contact us as adding it here will use to much bandwidth.
Source for this letter is the SOF community at Professional Soldiers.Com “Quiet Professionals”
It is great to hear from our Special Forces community and know that they are loyal to their country and the oath they took to protect and defend it, including our Constitutional rights. While the government doesn't give us our unalieanable rights, it is the job of the military and our government to protect those rights. Sadly, the Obama administration has been slowly chipping away at those rights and denying protections for our First Amendment, particularly for religious liberty under Obamacare and now our Second Amendment is under attack.
I included the entire text of the letter for all to see and to help spread the message, but I also included a verification of the letter from the military.com site which has helped verify the authenticity of the letter. The Green Beret members and other Special Forces members who signed it can not be named as many are active duty, while some are retired, but they wanted to make sure the public and our government knows where they stand on the issue.
I think this is very important for everyone to know and support and hope this gives a strong message to those in power who have vowed to protect and defend our Constitution, by protecting those rights granted to us by our Creator and not the government. The government of today seems to have forgotten they work for us and the Constitution is a set of laws that limit the federal government and do not allow the federal government to limit us or take away our rights.
Please share far and wide! I'm so proud of our military, especially our special forces and veterans who have served and continue to serve with respect to our country and their oath. May God continue to bless America and deliver us from this tyrannical government before it is too late!
Original Letter Source: http://professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40772
North Korea has been placed under martial law and Kim Jong-un has told his front-line troops to "be ready for a war," according to South Korean media reports.
Hmm...are they planning to strike SK for UN Sanctions or what??Or Just more threats and no action??
The sight of Army helicopters and the sound of gunfire created a lot of concern Monday afternoon in one Houston neighborhood
We received a lot of phones calls, Tweets and Facebook posts from worried neighbors, wondering what was going on.
SkyEye 13 HD was over the south side where at first look, it appeared there was a massive SWAT scene happening.
With military helicopters flying above her southeast Houston neighborhood, Frances Jerrals didn't know what to think.
"When you see this, you think the worst. When you hear this, you think the worst," Jerrals said.
And so, she passed along her concern.
"She told me 'don't come home it sounds like we're in a war zone. Guns, shooting, helicopters flying around the house,'" Isaac Robertson Jr. said.
The U.S. Army along with other agencies took over the old Carnegie Vanguard High School near Scott and Airport. There were armed men in fatigues, plenty of weapons and what many thought were real live rounds
"I felt like I was in a warzone." Jerrals said. "It was nonstop. I was terrified."
Turns out, it was a multi-agency training drill that Jerrals wished would have come with warning.
I don't understand why the military would conduct these 'drills' in populated areas without at least warning residents so that they aren't freaking out over what is going on. As far as I know the military has areas to conduct drills like this in non-populated areas, why they feel the need to do this over large cities in populated areas lately seems a bit concerning. Another recent incident similar to this occurred in Miami, FL last week, and others have been reported in Boston and Los Angeles. Hopefully the military will do a better job of informing the public of these 'drills' so that people don't become alarmed and think we are at war or something.
Black Helicopters Firing Blanks Over Houston Yesterday and Miami,FL last week http://sco.lt/7TekPR
Machine gun fire from military helicopters flying over downtown Miami Fl. http://sco.lt/4vyZeb
Several state sheriff's have come out and said they would not enforce a federal gun ban. http://ht.ly/h75LB
#tcot Not if this happens>http://sco.lt/6Yvhon >>RT @michaelemlong:http://t.co/nOkO3u2Y Will Our Rights Be Preserved by Our Sheriffs?
Excellent Video w/Transcript: Tienanmen Square activist on the need for the 2nd amendment http://sco.lt/5EKT69
Video:Veteran Stands Up For 2nd Amendment At Chicago Anti-Gun Forum http://sco.lt/817mWv ;
Video: @ProjectVeritas_ Journalists, Politicians Refuse to Post Lawn Sign saying "HOME IS PROUDLY GUN FREE" http://sco.lt/4h1y65
Another Reason Gun Bans Don't Make Sense-Hunting Rifles More Lethal Than AR-15?? http://sco.lt/72DF21 ;
The real problem is lack of security in our schools/gun free zoneshttp://littlebytesnews.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-month-since-tragic-newtown-ct-school.html Bans onweapons aren't the solution,but increased school security and mental health awareness and treatment are!
Ruger - Protect Your Rights http://www.ruger.com/micros/advocacy/ ;
Send a letter to your legislators now,make your voice heard&protect your 2nd amendment rights
JUDGE NAPOLITANO: Shooting up the Constitution: Feds have no legitimate role in regulating firearms http://t.co/TDLYgCJh
The truth about assault weapons http://ht.ly/gWPme
Anti gun people can NOT defeat this videohttp://sco.lt/6HFy7N ;
Obama’s New Executive Orders Translated---Violate 2nd Amendment&Won't Change Anythinghttp://sco.lt/4qh7XF ;
Here Are The 23 Executive Actions That Obama Is Taking Immediately To Reduce Gun Violence http://sco.lt/5Szv61 ;
Educating Liberals on Guns--w/ National & World Champion Pistol Shooter Jessie Duff http://sco.lt/7RvHPt
Kentucky Sheriff Denny Peyman upholds the 2nd Ammendment-Will Not Enforce Any Federal Gun Grabs http://sco.lt/5cHzUX
Obama’s Gun Task Force Member Has Son Convicted Of Planning School Mass Murder http://sco.lt/7qxclF
Former fireman puts Celina school through his own ‘active-shooter’ drill http://sco.lt/7Sgv8j
Legal Gun Saves 2-Month Old Child: http://t.co/uxhpaZRH ;… Try telling this man that "more guns are not the answer."
Armed School Resource Officer Carolyn Gudger Stops Gunman From Killing School Principal and Others http://littlebytesnews.blogspot.com/2013/01/armed-school-resource-officer-carolyn.html ;
Many parents in Newtown, where the most recent mass shooting took place, prefer keeping armed cops on each campus since the killing of 20 children and 6 staff members occurred last month at Sandy Hook Elementary, see http://t.co/0jtffZJn ;
it has been reported that many of the children are still afraid to play outside at recess, but the families and children feel safer with armed police patrolling the schools.
Since 1950 Most Mass Shootings Occured in Gun Free Zones--Making People Targets http://sco.lt/5hLdtx ;
Prominent rifle manufacturer killed in mysterious car crash&Popular gun rights advocate found shot in hea... |http://sco.lt/6HRrU1 ;
Petition to counter anti-gun nuts w/over 9K signatures...we need MORE http://sco.lt/6MFFsP ;
WH got 200K agnst guns,we MUST counteract it http://t.co/YE1DCNTb ; << Sign both!!
Mental Illness, Mass Killings&The Media
Study: Guns used successfully for defensive purposes up to 2.5M times/year http://sco.lt/9GZ4mP ;
Poll: Only 44% Want Obama To Pass Gun Control Laws…liberals don't care about factshttp://sco.lt/8lxAHp ;
Here Are The 23 Executive Actions That Obama Is Taking Immediately To Reduce Gun Violencehttp://sco.lt/5Szv61 ;
Newtown mom wants voice in gun control discussion--Parents nationwide should have a voice! http://sco.lt/66QY0v ;
Preserving Liberties And Protecting Schoolchildren Should Allow for Local Control Not Federal Control http://sco.lt/8YdwW1 ;
Former fireman puts Celina school through his own ‘active-shooter’ drill http://sco.lt/7Sgv8j ;
Obama’s Gun Task Force Member Has Son Convicted Of Planning School Mass Murder http://sco.lt/7qxclF ;
EXCLUSIVE: NY Paper Publishes Legal Gun Permit Holders Names in Print & Online! http://sco.lt/72tAzR ;
Poll:Would you choose a secure school or a "gun free" school for your children? http://shar.es/hJbkP ;
Rahm Emmanuel's kids protected by armed, on duty police at University of Chicago Laboratory School http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/26/Rahm-s-Kids-School-Protected-by-Armed-On-Duty-Police ; ;
Remarks from the NRA press conference on Sandy Hook school shooting, delivered on Dec. 21, 2012 (Transcript) http://sco.lt/5432bB ;
Sheriff: Bullied Calif. teen planned attack on classmates--stole shotgun from his brother http://sco.lt/7zRgO1 ;
EXCLUSIVE: Fear of being committed may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap http://sco.lt/64xQQr ;
'I am the devil': Former classmate reveals Adam Lanza had 'online devil worshiping page' as childhood bar..http://sco.lt/7ugTJp ;
Obama Let 1 Billion Dollars in School Security Funds Lapse Before Sandy Hook Mass Shooting http://sco.lt/6Zt8Rl ;
Anonymous Attacks Westboro Baptist Church Over Plans to Picket Sandy Hook Funerals http://sco.lt/84z24v ;
Pictures of The victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting - May God Bless Their Souls&Comfort ...http://sco.lt/5FlnnN ;
The Mind of a School Shooter--Not All Are Crazy,Most Are Just Angry http://sco.lt/4p9uLp ;
Connecticut Mental Health Bill Defeated Months Before Deadly School Shooting-ACLU said 'infringed on pati...http://sco.lt/5Z4Wdl ;
Newtown Victims Pictures, Profiles and Possible Clues That Should Have Been Caught http://littlebytesnews.blogspot.com/2012/12/newtown-victims-pictures-profiles-and.html ;
Updated:Kindergarten Killers--Another Mass Murder;Two Crimes | http://sco.lt/6MFFsP ;
Word's from a Father who lost his daughter in COLUMBINE 12 YEARS AGO!!Congress Is Still Not Listening! http://sco.lt/6bzzaz ;
The Supreme Court, of course, has recognized that under the Constitution, honest people have a right to defend themselves with firearms, inside and outside the home
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit acknowledges 2nd amendment right to concealed weapons
Blog turns tables on gun map paper - Katie Glueckhttp://sco.lt/57IpIf ;
A Call To Action to Restore America & What's Really Destroying America http://sco.lt/78C6c5
NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC wants viewers to draw their own conclusions about whether a parent of a Newtown school shooting victim was heckled at a legislative hearing, but isn't addressing questions about whether it aired deceptive video of the...
Maybe the more the MSM is exposed, the more people will wake up and realize they have been manipulated by the lamestream media far too long. This is how Obama got elected and how they continue to push his agenda...the US media is no longer a free press that vets our leaders and keeps the government in check when they are pandering to their party and supporting their policies rather than reporting the facts.
Next … off come the pants. Here come the real spending cuts.
Boehner quietly made 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent. As Boehner himself dryly observed, in an interview with TheWall Street Journal’s editorial board member Steve Moore, “”Who would have ever guessed that we could make 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent? When we had a Republican House and Senate and a Republican in the White House, we couldn’t get that. And so, not bad.’”
“Not bad” is a resounding understatement. Dealt a weak hand, Boehner managed to 99% outfox, on tax policy, a president who had the massive apparatus of the executive branch, the Senate majority, and a left-leaning national elite media whooping it up for a whopping tax increase. Even more impressively, Boehner pulled it off with steady nerves while under heavy pressure from the anti-spending hawks in his own caucus.
Boehner, deftly, also dramatically raised the threshold, on which Obama had campaigned, at which the modest 3.6% rate increase kicked in. Yet his biggest win may have been in making the Alternative Minimum Tax patch permanent. This changes the baseline with profoundly positive implications for future tax reform and economic growth.
Boehner thereby won a triple jackpot, a bonanza for conservatives and supply-siders … while Obama, giving up all that for a trivial symbolic victory, lost his Progressive shirt. The mainstream media, with a few exceptions such as Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast, was too deep in the tank to report that the Emperor has no clothes.
But Obama ended up, at least, shirtless. Next … off come the pants. Here come the real spending cuts. As reported by Moore, Boehner privately told Obama “’Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.’ He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: ‘I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.’”
Boehner, last week, again bested Obama by pushing the debt ceiling fight back to May. This is a double whammy by Boehner. According tospecialists, by structuring the law to allow new borrowing only to the extent of obligations “outstanding on May 19, 2013, exceeds the face amount of such obligations outstanding on the date of the enactment of this Act” Boehner effectively instituted a spending freeze. This, in the face of Obama’s relentless demand for even more spending, is a victory for anti-profligacy hawks.
There’s a much bigger whammy embedded. Pushing the debt ceiling fight back to May, as theNew York Times put it, “re-sequenced” the fight. Re-sequencing was not an idle gesture. It was a major tactical win by the House. The Times reported that “’The president stared down the Republicans. They blinked,’ said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.” Schumer speaks with macho naiveté.
The Democrats, apparently, still don’t know what Boehner has hit them with. Thanks to the Sequester anti-profligacy conservatives now negotiate from strength. What are the implications of putting the Sequester fight before the debt ceiling fight? Steve Moore:
“The Republicans’ stronger card, Mr. Boehner believes, will be the automatic spending sequester trigger that trims all discretionary programs—defense and domestic. It now appears that the president made a severe political miscalculation when he came up with the sequester idea in 2011.
“As Mr. Boehner tells the story: Mr. Obama was sure Republicans would call for ending the sequester—the other ‘cliff’—because it included deep defense cuts. But Republicans never raised the issue. ‘It wasn’t until literally last week [columnist’s note: just before the deadline] that the White House brought up replacing the sequester,’ Mr. Boehner says. ‘They said, ‘We can’t have the sequester.’ They were always counting on us to bring this to the table.”
“Mr. Boehner says he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks, on his side for letting the sequester do its work. ‘I got that in my back pocket,’ the speaker says. He is counting on the president’s liberal base putting pressure on him when cherished domestic programs face the sequester’s sharp knife. Republican willingness to support the sequester, Mr. Boehner says, is ‘as much leverage as we’re going to get.’”
It now should be clear to every Tea Party Patriot that Boehner is acting with integrity, with acute political sophistication, as an authentic conservative serious about reducing the debt by reducing spending. His claim, to Moore, that “he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks … for letting the sequester do its work,” promises to be a game changer.
Given the assessments by sober defense analysts — and according to other, private, reports from Capitol Hill — there is no reason to think that Boehner is bluffing about having the support he needs to take the Sequester or barter it for even better cuts. And Boehner’s abhorrence of debt appears completely authentic. Moore: “He sees debt as almost a moral failing, noting that when he grew up in a little middle-class, blue-collar neighborhood’ outside of Cincinnati, ‘nobody had debt. It was unheard of. I just don’t do debt’.”
Boehner, having shrewdly identified the conservatives’ point of maximum leverage, appears poised for an historic victory. Boehner may prove himself to be the guy big enough and smart enough finally to engineer something that eluded even the great Reagan: pushing federal spending onto a downward trajectory.
I'm not sure about this, but I hope it's true that Boehner did something right.
No surprise to hear this...I'm just wondering how soon they will be robbed by those seeking to use/sell drugs on the streets now that they know where to find it.