Thursday, December 30, 2010

US Department of Defense is The Worst Polluter on the Planet

US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet

Our unconstitutional and murderous wars are destroying the planet and the US Military burns through about 350-400,000 barrels of oil a day.  One of my favorite blogs ( posted some great information in a piece titled “The Elephant in the Room: The U.S. Military is One of the World's Largest Sources of C02” that includes:
"The military accounts for a full 80 percent of the federal government's energy demand."
Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis -- either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.
And in 2008, Oil Change International released a report showing that:
The [Iraq] war is responsible for at least 141 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) since March 2003. To put this in perspective, CO2 released by the war to date equals the emissions from putting 25 million more cars on the road in the US this year.
The fact that the U.S. military is one of the world's largest sources of C02 is an open secret that no one is addressing. If C02 causes warming and the military is one of the largest producers of C02, then any talk of climate change which does not include the military is nothing but hot air.

Environmentalists Against War ( has listed many reasons to end our destructive wars and carbon burning foreign policy including:
 War destroys human settlements and native habitats.
 War destroys wildlife and contaminates the land, air and water. The damage can last for generations.
 US clusterbombs, thermobaric explosions, electromagnetic bursts and weapons made with depleted uranium are indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction.
 Bombs pollute, poisoning the land with unexploded shells and toxic chemicals. Bombs can't locate or neatly destroy hidden chemical or biological weapons (CBW), but they can cause the uncontrolled spread of deadly CBW agents.
Of course, you will never hear MSM ever discuss the environmental impact of our unnecessary and gargantuan military, its colossal carbon footprint or the massive environmental degradation resulting from military missions, invasions and occupations.    Furthermore, there is no way anybody can seriously discuss energy or the environment without first acknowledging the monster appetite of the military for fuel and its effects on people and their environment.  However, our military machine is all about money and lots of it; defense contractors could care less about dead people, environmental degradation or carbon footprints. 
Feeling a tad green?  After all, green is the color of money. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Personhood Amendments: Does a Fetus Have Constitutional Rights?

Personhood Amendments
Does a Fetus Have Constitutional Rights?

I really don't like to talk about pro-life and pro-choice issues because it inflames the passions on both sides. But there's a new and startling development that must be addressed because it's gaining serious steam.

Does a Fetus have Constitutional Rights?

Over the years, pro-lifers have done an outstanding job on raising abortion awareness and in fact had majority support in lobbying Congress to ban the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion (upheld by the Supreme Court). Abortion was actually on the decline. According to polls on pro-life and pro-choice issues, the American people overwhelmingly oppose late term abortion but still support legalized early abortion. The strategy of slowly hacking away at R v W was working. R v W is bad law because it created a new constitutional right where none had previously existed and the fact that this new constitutional right was the right to murder the unborn is repugnant on many levels, legally and morally.

Nebraska is on the road to being the first state to pass a law challenging R v W by legally restricting abortion to 20 weeks or under.

Quote: "Activists on both sides of the abortion debate are carefully eyeing a Nebraska bill that's wending its way through the legislature this week. They wonder if a proposed ban might end up as the subject of the next Supreme Court abortion battle. The road to every major Supreme Court decision on a divisive social issue is littered with hundreds of hours of strategy sessions by lawyers, politicians and activists probing pending legislation to see if it has the potential to become a court challenge.

The Nebraska bill -- which seeks to make abortions illegal after the 20th week of pregnancy -- is no different. The bright-line rule is necessary because of some medical evidence that a fetus can feel pain at that stage of gestation, sponsors of the legislation say.

The legislation has drawn national attention from groups such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, which sees it as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade..."

While the Nebraska bill is infuriating the pro-choice folks, it's pretty much in line with the aversion of the American people to late term abortion. In that sense, it's not radical. It's only radical in the sense that it's a direct challenge to R v W and a challenge that probably stands a fairly good chance of being upheld by SCOTUS. When the partial birth abortion ban arguments were held before SCOTUS, it was clear that the jurists were concerned with the pain and suffering associated with the partial birth procedure abortion. The notorious swing voter, Justice Kennedy who is Catholic, came through on that 5-4 decision (backing Robert, Scalia, Alito and Thomas). It is probably accurate to say that the “SCOTUS 5” were profoundly affected by the underlying premise of "pain, suffering, cruel and inhumane punishment" as applied to partial birth abortion procedures. Therefore, it’s not an unreasonable expectation to assume that the same concerns that nixed partial birth abortion could also be extended to include all late term abortion so long as the mother's life was protected against being forced to die while giving birth.

Now this is where the abortion issue gets very interesting and goes way beyond attempting to reduce late term abortions and convincing folks that abortion is wrong. There is a serious movement brewing in America to define human life as beginning at the precise moment of conception and that such “pre born” human beings are automatically vested with full constitutional rights and protections. A group called is one of several pioneers in this radical movement that is working to get “personhood” amendments on state ballots or pass such initiatives in state legislatures. A personhood amendment was on the ballot in Colorado in 2008 and it was decisively defeated by a margin of 3:1.  The Colorado Personhood amendment was back on the ballot again in 2010 and failed again by a margin of 3:1.   Various other similar initiatives are in the works in other states.

The “personhood” movement is a legal nightmare that holds the potential to criminalize any and all activities that result in harm or death to an unborn fetus. Think about the ramifications and consequences of such a measure. You could be driving down the road and accidentally rear end a vehicle whose driver is a pregnant female; if she aborts, you are guilty of illegally taking a human life and would, minimally, be charged with vehicular homicide. Heck, you could inadvertently bump into a pregnant woman’s grocery store cart, knock her down and if she miscarries, you are guilty of some form of murder or manslaughter. The civil and criminal aspects of a personhood law are mindboggling. Pregnant women who miscarry because of a variety of negligent activities could be imprisoned. There are thousands of scenarios that could land a person, male or female, pregnant or not pregnant, in prison for taking a human life while being subjected to civil lawsuits as a result of accidentally causing the death of an unborn fetus.

This is not only totally insane, it puts us in uncharted territory because no legal system in human history has ever ventured to grant an unborn fetus the same bundle of legal rights that fully born human beings enjoy.

Oddly, the groups clamoring for personhood laws and amendments are using the R v W opinion and wording of Justice Harry Blackmun who wrote in the majority opinion, to substantiate their case:

Quote: “The appellee and certain amici [pro-lifers] argue that the fetus is a ‘person’ within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment.”

The website of states:

Quote: “When the term “Person” is granted to a human being, it refers to the presence of a particular set of characteristics that grant that individual certain rights such as the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, to be a person is to be protected by a series of God given and constitutionally protected rights.

They know that if we clearly define the pre-born baby as a person then they will have the same right to life as all Americans do! This Amendment has the promise plugging the “Blackmun Hole,” a startling admission that if personhood could be established for the pre-born, the arguments in Roe would collapse.”

In a weird twist of irony, the personhood supporters are using Blackmun’s own rejection that an unborn fetus is in fact a human being who is fully vested with civil rights and every other protection under the law because they believe that they have a strong case to establish and prove beyond any reasonable doubt the “personhood” of the unborn. Astoundingly, they reference the science of fetology as proof:

Quote: “The science of fetology in 1973 was not able to prove, as it can now, that a fully human and unique individual exists at the moment of fertilization and continues to grow through various stages of development in a continuum (barring tragedy) until natural death from old age.” Source:

This “personhood issue” is not good news for the GOP that is largely dominated by the pro-life crowd and its most radical proponents. To pursue such an extreme solution to abortion will further alienate conservatives while giving ample ammunition to the pro-choice crowd to use against conservatives.  

Conservatives need to think long and hard about the personhood issue as well as the criminal and legal consequences attached thereto. Supporting life is one thing but to criminalize any and all acts that result in the death of a fetus by vesting the unborn with full civil and legal constitutional rights is extreme.

Of course there is also the issue of: is a fetus human and at what point does it become a human being?  The debates are all over the place and include “the fetus becomes a human being when it is vested with a soul”.  Of course, it’s impossible to determine when a fetus becomes vested with a soul.  The website,, provides an outstanding week to week explanation and photos of a fetus from the moment of conception through birth. 

While I may not personally subscribe to the view that life begins at the moment of conception, there are those who do.  That’s a debate that will never end. 

Disclosure: I personally support early abortion and would never vote to take that right away from another woman. The issue is between the woman and God. Not having walked in her shoes, I won't judge her.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Obamacare’s Ideological Framework, The Complete Lives System

Obamacare’s Ideological Framework
The Complete Lives System

The ideological framework of Obamacare that was laid out by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (brother of Rahm Emanuel and Obama’s former Chief of Staff) is horrifyingly reminiscent of a Nazi Germany styled social order that assigns value to human life based on its utilitarian value.  It’s what Dr. Emanuel calls the “complete lives system”.

Principles of Allocation for Scarce Medical Interventions

Complete Life

The Lancet, January 31, 2009
The Reaper Curve: Ezekiel Emanuel used the above chart in a Lancet article to illustrate the ages on which health spending should be focused.
Dr. Emanuel’s “complete lives system” is a healthcare model based upon the allocation of resources depending on where one falls within the bell curve of maximum societal usefulness.  Right off the bat, the worth of the young and the old are marginalized.  The complete live system is defined by Dr. Emanuel in the context that the young and the old are expendable and not worthy of resources because "Adolescents have received substantial education and parental care, investments that will be wasted without a complete life. Infants, by contrast, have not yet received these investments”.   He advocates for what he calls "to provide socially sustainable, cost-effective care."  Defining medical care as an “intervention”, the elitist Dr. Emanuel doesn’t believe that the young are worthy of medical care, or the aging or old. 
The quotes below come from an article penned by Betsy McCaughey, a former Lt. Governor of New York who goes on to say:

True reform, he argues, must include redefining doctors' ethical obligations. In the June 18, 2008, issue of JAMA, Dr. Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the "overuse" of medical care: "Medical school education and post graduate education emphasize thoroughness," he writes. "This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath's admonition to 'use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment' as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others."
In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient's needs. He describes it as an intractable problem: "Patients were to receive whatever services they needed, regardless of its cost. Reasoning based on cost has been strenuously resisted; it violated the Hippocratic Oath, was associated with rationing, and derided as putting a price on life. . . . Indeed, many physicians were willing to lie to get patients what they needed from insurance companies that were trying to hold down costs." (JAMA, May 16, 2007)….
…. Dr. Emanuel writes at length about who should set the rules, who should get care, and who should be at the back of the line….
Dr. Emanuel argues that to make such decisions, the focus cannot be only on the worth of the individual. He proposes adding the communitarian perspective to ensure that medical resources will be allocated in a way that keeps society going…
….But Dr. Emanuel believes doctors should serve two masters, the patient and society, and that medical students should be trained "to provide socially sustainable, cost-effective care."
Dr. Emanuel has fought for a government takeover of health care for over a decade. In 1993, he urged that President Bill Clinton impose a wage and price freeze on health care to force parties to the table. "The desire to be rid of the freeze will do much to concentrate the mind," he wrote with another author in a Feb. 8, 1993, Washington Post op-ed. Now he recommends arm-twisting Chicago style. "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda," he wrote last Nov. 16 in the Health Care Watch Blog. "If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort."

Interestingly, nowhere does Dr. Emanuel even suggest or discuss the possibility that citizens should be free to pursue and fund their own healthcare option.  The implication is that the entire healthcare apparatus in America will absolutely be seized by the federal government and services disbursed according to the state’s desires.  Those deemed no longer useful because of their advancing age, infant status or illness will be expendable and deemed not worthy of medical resources.  The last nation that seriously attempted this type of the “culling of the masses” was Nazi Germany. 
Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) is the father of the ideological movement to “cull the population”.   He advanced the theory that the planet can only sustain 1-2 billion folks at best and it’s this theory that has been front and center of a movement to massively reduce the planetary human hoards.  Not that long ago it was disease and famine that guaranteed population control but with the advent of modern medicine and the rise of a middle class that is living longer, the so called population bomb is the obsession of government planners, the UN and global governance aficionados everywhere.  These modern day Malthusians understand that reducing the once thriving middle class to subsistence level and seizing control of healthcare will advance their goal of more expeditious human exits. 
The folks who are deluded into supporting the takeover of healthcare by government fail to recognize that such powers should never be granted to any government.  Of course, many like Dr. Emanuel understand precisely what is being done and why. 
The latest poster child for Obamacare is the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.  Considering that the 77 year old Sen. Kennedy had a long history of obesity, alcohol abuse and a recently diagnosed late stage terminal brain cancer, he would be considered expendable under a government healthcare system as outlined by Dr. Emanuel.  But Obamacare will exempt Congress from the healthcare system from hell.

More alarming is the brutal reality that government planners and statisticians only think in terms of the collective, never the individual, and they are perennially focused on their desired goal which is strict cost controls and Malthusian population reductions.  Dr. Emanuel “chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient's needs.”  Well, what the heck is the patient-doctor relationship all about if it’s not about the patient’s own needs?  Are we supposed to visit government doctors and bureaucrats to get an official determination relative to whether or not a government intervention is warranted as it relates to whether we are deemed fit to live according to the “complete lives system”?

I fear so. 

If the American people decide turn their lives, liberty and health over to government, they are effectively consenting to being put into the great vat of the collective wherein the value of their life is purely utilitarian, arbitrary, subject to bureaucratic whim and on target with the totalitarian master plan.    If we consent to such a horror, we forsake the essence of our humanity. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

COICA, Internet Freedom and Following the Campaign Cash

Understanding the Dangers of COICA to Internet Freedom and Following the Campaign Cash
The Internet censorship bill that unanimously sailed out of the Senate Judiciary this week, called COICA, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, appears well positioned to pass.  This bill is very problematic on many levels, starting with the fact that the bill has nothing whatsoever to do with copyright infringement and counterfeiting and everything to do with giving the government control of the Internet. 
As noted by Stephen Lendman in an piece titled “New Internet Censorship Bill Introduced” laws already exist to effectively handle copyright infringements and counterfeiting.  Lendman states “The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) “already gives copyright owners legal tools to remove infringing material piece-by-piece”.  It’s also important to note that is definitely progressive/liberal and its concerns with the wholesale slashing of the first amendment as well as a massive effort to grant the government powers over the Internet is admirable.
Lendman heavily quoted from an Electronic Frontier Foundation article written by Richard Esguerra:
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Richard Esguerra:
If enacted, this bill lets the Attorney General and Justice Department "break the Internet one domain at a time - by requiring domain registrars/registries, ISPs, DNS providers, and others to block Internet users from reaching certain websites."
Two online blacklists will be created:
-- one for web sites the Attorney General may censor or block, and
-- most disturbing, domain names the Justice Department decides (without judicial review) are "dedicated to infringing activities."
The bill doesn't mandate, but "strongly suggests" that second category domains be blocked "as well as providing legal immunity for Internet intermediaries and DNS operators" that do it willingly at the behest of authorities….
..Like other 2009 and 2010 bills, COICA "is a censorship bill that runs roughshod over freedom of speech on the Internet,"
Like many other pre and post-9/11 bills, COICA is police state legislation….
I recommend reading the entire Lendman article here:
As a first amendment advocate who lacks technological skills, this topic must be pursued, debated and explained by liberty activists with the expertise and knowledge that I personally lack.
In any event, I consider the takeover of the Internet by the government to be a horrid Nazi styled initiative that will severely impair the ability of liberty activists everywhere to share and post vitally important information that is critical to a free and open society.  Tom Berners over at calls COICA “an effort to censor the internet without due process.” (
Moreover, we need to address the issue of special interest funding and how Congress Critters are bought and paid for.
Following the Money
Lobbyists, PAC’s, and industries buy Congress Critters by funding committee members and that’s where big money is spent.  Once a bill sails out of a committee, then it’s on to the House and Senate floor for a full floor vote and if the votes come up short, more money flows from special interests to buy the needed votes for passage.   Before a bill is voted on, members of Congress already know the vote results because they are quietly counted before recorded vote is taken. tracks the money in politics in a variety of ways, including by industry, PAC’s, lobbyists.  The 19 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who unanimously voted COICA out of committee got campaign cash from certain industries and interests.  The figures quoted below include all money  that was raised by the Campaign Committee and the Leadership PAC’s and relate to the categories of communications/electronics and lawyers/lobbyists from 2006-2010.
Senator                              Communications/Electronics      Lawyers/Lobbyists
Patrick Leahy                                   $981,000                                    $1,300,000
Herb Kohl (insignificant)
Jeff Sessions                                     251,000                                          627,000
Dianne Feinstein                              661,000                                          901,800
Orrin Hatch                                       596,000                                         853,000
Russ Feingold                                   523,000                                       1,000,000
Chuck Grassley                                372,000                                           678,000
Arlen Specter                                   856,000                                         2,700,000
Jon Kyl                                              605,000                                         1,100,000
Chuck Schumer                                    1,000                                          2,500,000
Lindsey Graham                               278,000                                          1,600,000
Dick Durbin                                       605,000                                         3,000,000
John Cornyn                                      597,000                                          1,600,000
Benjamin Cardin                               199,000                                          1,200,000
Tom Coburn                                      108,000                                             246,000
Sheldon Whitehouse                     454,000                                            1,300,000
Amy Klobuchar                                 437,000                                           1,500,000
Al Franken                                    1,700,000                                            1,400,000
Chris Coons                                                21                                             232,000
Note: The Communications/Electronics industry includes: computers/internet, computer software, printing & publishing, books, magazines, newspapers, telecom services and equipment, telephone utilities, TV/movies/music, cable & satellite TV production & distribution, commercial TV and radio stations, motion picture production and distribution, recorded music & music production, TV production and distribution.  Lawyers/Lobbying includes lawyers & law firms, lobbyists. See how Open Secrets organizes industries:
Below are links to Open Secrets pages on the 19 Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee showing the source of campaign and lobbying cash. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Awesome Drudge Headline: The Terrorists Have Won

Awesome Drudge Headline:


Highway Robbery: Know What the Government is Planning for our Roads and Highways

America's transportation Nazis are planning a whole lot more misery than having TSA's "touchy feely" goons molest American families and their children.  America's roads and highways are about to be churned into virtual police states with electronic surveillance, GPS mandated in every vehicle and the government's ability to disable anybody's vehicle while monitoring your every move. 
 Every American should be absolutely terrified that our roads and highways are about to be churned into Nazi style police state roadways and that taxpayer funded technology will facilitate this transition as vehicles and roads are being reconfigured for constant surveillance and monitoring.  No longer is America the land of “See the USA in your Chevrolet” but we are turning into “May the Force of Big Brother be With You Wherever You Go in Your Government Motors Surveillance Vehicle”.

New meaning for "Road Tax"
By Henry Lamb, July 13, 2009
 Sara was late for work.  The alarm clock didn't alarm, the kids were unusually slow getting ready for school, and nothing went right.   She finally got to her car – a brand new 2020 Chevy Adventure.  She touched the finger-print secured start button.  Nothing.  It wouldn't start.  She touched it again.  Nothing.  Furious, she banged the steering wheel with her fist.  Then she noticed the paper hanging from the receipt printer on the dash.

"Your designated visa account rejected your Road Use Tax in the amount of $87.32 for the month of June, 2020.  You must insert a valid account card to activate your automobile."
It's coming.  With a $16 million grant from the federal government, the University of Iowa is developing a Global Positioning Satellite system that can measure the mileage, apply a variable tax rate that will increase during rush hours, and in high-traffic areas, calculate the total, charge a designated account card, and shut down your automobile if unpaid when due.    Some 2700 automobiles in five states will be used in the test.
 The system has been under development for more than a decade.  The concept was proven in a similar, but smaller test in Oregon two years ago.  The new tax system is being designed to replace the outdated by-the-gallon tax.   Government mandated higher mileage requirements results in less tax revenue for all governments.  Hybrid and all-electric cars contribute little or nothing to road tax revenues.
 The new by-the-mile tax system will give government much more than a new tax collection mechanism; it will give government much greater control over everyone. 
 The new GM – Government Motors – can install this new system in all of its vehicles.  All that's needed is an instruction from the car-czar.  Auto makers that have not yet been taken over by the government can be required to install the system quite easily, by regulation or legislation.  With such a system in every vehicle, the government can have virtual control over the population.
Purchase of a vehicle will give the government a database containing the name and residence location of every automobile owner.  Since the system has the ability to record and track the geographic location of the vehicle at every moment of the day or night – only for the purpose of applying the correct tax rate, of course – government can know where your vehicle is at any moment.
 Frightened yet?  This is not hocus-pocus conspiracy-theory nonsense.  The National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission has unanimously endorsed the scheme
 In January 2008, the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission released a study recommending a 40 cent increase in the Federal gas tax as well as a 60 cent increase in state gas taxes.  But the commission’s study goes even further:
The study also calls for a new federal bureaucracy to centralize transportation decision making, new limitations on states’ abilities to attract private sector investments and a first of its kind federal tax on all public transportation and intercity passenger rail tickets.
It’s all about vastly increasing federal control of all transportation and tax, tax, tax.
According to Mary Peters, the Bush Transportation Secretary, the Federal government squanders about 40% of our Federal gas tax dollars and she admitted on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer (PBS) that only about 60% of the gas tax is funneled into roads and bridges.   What happens to our gas tax dollars?  Every year tens of billions of our gas tax dollars are siphoned off by Congress in a transportation bill to fund pork and other slop.
The Tax Foundation reported that “Since 1977, governments collected more than $1.34 trillion, after adjusting for inflation, in gasoline tax revenues…”

Every American can categorically be assured that $1.34 trillion was not spent on our bridges and highways.  So now the government’s solution for pissing away our gas tax dollars is to increase the gas tax from 18.4 cents a gallon to 40 cents a gallon?   Americans can also be assured that any new gas tax revenues won’t be spent on bridges and roads either.  If anything, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters probably low balled the waste but assuming she’s reasonably accurate, 40% of $1.34 trillion is $536,000,000 that just managed to get pissed away in the congressional corruption machine.   That kind of money would undoubted build a lot of bridges and highways.  But making America’s bridges and highways safe for Americans and their families has never been a congressional priority.

But there are a lot of other moving parts to the transportation issue besides squandering hundreds of billions in gas taxes.  Horrifyingly, many draconian Nazi styled transportation schemes are being seriously considered and even outright implemented and these intrusions into our pocketbooks and privacy should inspire sheer terror in the hearts and minds of freedom living citizens everywhere.  These schemes involved building automobiles with GPS transponders that track your every move on the highways while churning America’s highways into a virtual electronic police state.
An article titled “Feds plan to track every car, Obscure agency working on technology to monitor all vehicles” is quoted as follows:

Quote: A little-known federal agency is planning a new monitoring program by which the government would track every car on the road by using onboard transceivers.
The agency, the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, is part of the Department of Transportation. According to an extensive report in the Charlotte, N.C., Creative Loafing, the agency doesn't respond to public inquiries about its activity.
According to the report, cutting-edge tracking technology will be used by government transportation management centers to monitor every aspect of transportation. Under the plan, not only will movement be monitored but it also will be archived in massive databases for future use.
The paper reports a group of car manufacturers, technology companies and government interests have worked toward implementing the project for 13 years.
States the Creative Loafing report:
"The only way for people to evade the national transportation tracking system they're creating will be to travel on foot. Drive your car, and your every movement could be recorded and archived…..
Critics believe the program will be used to line the pockets of business interests that stand to gain from the sale of needed technology and that the government will use the data collected to tax drivers on their driving habits.
Though the program has ominous privacy implications, Creative Loafing reports none of the privacy-rights organizations it contacted were aware of the government's plans.
The report states that more than $4 billion in federal tax dollars has already been spent to lay the foundation for the system, which will use GPS technology and other methods to monitor Americans' movements.
The plan includes transceivers, or "onboard units," that will transmit data from each car to the system, the first models of which are expected to be unveiled next spring. By 2010, the paper reported, automakers hope to start installing them in cars. The goal is to equip 57 million vehicles by 2015….
At least one proponent of the plan is actually using the term "Orwellian" to describe it.
At a workshop for industry and government leaders last year, the Charlotte paper reports, John Worthington, president and CEO of TransCore – one of the companies currently under contract to develop the onboard units for cars – described the system as "kind of an Orwellian all-singing, all-dancing collector/aggregator/disseminator of transportation information."
Maybe now we know where big chunks of our gas tax dollars are going!  There are so many obscure federal agencies these days that it’s nearly impossible to track their funding and activities without the resources of a well funded think tank. 
Of course, the government will attempt to sell a hugely expensive transportation police state to the American sheeple by invoking the issues of public safety and national security!!!  All of these things are being done quietly and mainstream media just refuses to report on these draconian measures. 
But it gets even worse.
The transportation costs to Americans driving on roads that they already bought and paid for with their tax dollars are about to explode:
A group of think tanks, businesses, and three federal agencies recently published a report, called Moving Cooler, proposing to charge a 5 cent per mile toll to access ALL federal interstates and a 65 cent per mile toll to access ALL 125 metro cities across America. Someone has clearly lost their marbles to put such a proposal in writing.
Not only is this a massive DOUBLE TAX to charge taxpayers to use what we’ve already built and paid for, it’s a recipe for total economic collapse! Few would be able to afford to get to work, and it would bring freedom to travel to a screeching halt.
Even IF all workers and business owners wanted to take mass transit to work, our public transportation system couldn’t handle it, so that leaves millions forced to pay $26 a day in new taxes to get to work (for a 20 mile commute), which for many means they literally can’t afford to get to work.
65 cents a mile just to drive!!  And on top of the gas tax to boot – if this isn’t highway robbery I don’t know what is. 
Another draconian scheme being hatched is the Vehicles Miles Tax (VMT) and GPS systems are being designed to tax us according to the number of miles we drive.  According to “The system would require all cars and trucks be equipped with global satellite positioning technology, a transponder, a clock and other equipment to record how many miles a vehicle was driven, whether it was driven on highways or secondary road, and even whether it was driven during peak traffic periods or off peak-hours.  The device would tally how much tax motorists owned depending upon their road use.  Motorists would pay the amount owned when it was downloaded, probably at gas stations at first”.
For those who consider highway and road transportation a mundane issue, it’s time to take off the blinders and understand what is being planned and implemented. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2010 Ten Thousand Commandments - An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

Every year, the CEI puts out its annual report on the cost of government regulation.  It's not only staggering but it's economically destructive as well.

2010 Ten Thousand Commandments - An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State

20 I 0 Edition
by Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.
Executive Summary


The government's reach extends well beyond the taxes that Washington collects and the deficit spending and borrowing now surging.

A very rough extrapolation from an evaluation of the federal regulatory enterprise by economist Mark Crain esti­mates that annual regulatory compliance costs hit $1.187 trillion in 2009.

Given 2009's actual government spend­ing of $3.518 trillion, the regulatory "hidden tax" stood at 34 percent of the level of federal spending itself. (Because of the recent federal spending surge, this proportion is lower than the near-40 percent level of recent years.)

The dramatic reality that regulations and deficits now each exceed $1 trillion a year is an unsettling new development for America. In 2008, regulatory costs were more than double that year's $459 billion budget deficit. Now, the 2009 deficit spending surge has catapulted the deficit well above the costs of regulation ($1.414 trillion compared to $1.187 tril­lion, respectively).

The game has changed, with respect to government spending versus govern­ment regulation. Although the spending and deficit levels eclipse federal regultory costs now, unchecked government spending can translate, in later years, into greater regulation as well.

Regulatory costs are equivalent to 63 percent of all 2007 corporate pretax profits of$1.89 trillion.

Regulatory costs dwarf corporate income taxes of $147 billion.

Regulatory costs exceed estimated 2009 individual income taxes of $953 billion by 25 percent.

Regulatory costs of $1.187 trillion absorb 8.3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), estimated at $14.253 trillion in 2009.

Combining regulatory costs with federal FY 2009 outlays of $3.518 trillion im­plies that the federal government's share of the economy now reaches 33 percent.

The Weidenbaum Center at Washington University in St. Louis and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, jointly estimate that agencies spent $54.3 billion ro adminiter and police the regulatory enterprise. Adding the $1.187 trillion in off-budget compliance costs brings the total regula­tory burden to $1.24 trillion.

The 2009 Federal Register dropped significantly from its all-time high of 79,435 pages in 2008. It fell nearly 14 percent to 68,598.

Federal Register pages devoted specifi­cally to final rules fell by 21 percent, from a record 26,320 in 2008 to 20,782 in 2009.

In 2009, agencies issued 3,503 final rules, an 8.5-percent drop from 3,830 rules in 2008.

The annual outflow of roughly 4,000 final rules has meant that nearly 60,000 rules have been issued since 1995.

Although regulatory agencies issued 3,503 final rules in 2009, Congress passed and the president signed into law a comparatively few 125 bills. Consider­able lawmaking power is delegated to unelected bureaucrats at agencies.

According to the 2009 Unified Agenda, which lists federal regulatory actions at various stages of implementation, 59 federal departments, agencies, and com­missions have 4,043 regulations in play at various stages of implementation.

Of the 4,043 regulations now in the pipeline, 184 are "economically signifi­cant" rules wielding at least $100 million in economic impact. Assuming those rulemakings are primarily regulatory rather than deregulatory, that number implies roughly $18 billion yearly in future off-budget regulatory effects.

 "Economically significant" rules icreased by 2 percent between 2008 and 2009 (following 13- and 14-percent increases in the prior two years). High federal budgetary spending now likely implies higher future regulatory costs as well.

The five most active rule-producing agencies-the departments of the Trea­sury, Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior, along with the Environmental Protection Agency --- account for 1,763 rules, or 44 percent of all rules in the Unified Agenda pipeline.

Of the 4,043 regulations now in the works, 758 affect small business.