Thursday, May 6, 2010

Letter to the Principal Who Sent Children Home From School For Wearing the American Flag

This is an e mail sent to a principal in California. On the 5th of May, a Mexican holiday, several students were sent home for wearing the American flag. This is the response of an American who counts immigrants on both sides of his family tree, Italians who fought in World War II and Germans who fought in the revolution.

Dear Sir,
You ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

People like yourself do know and understand that this country was built by immigrants, but that is only part of it. It was built by immigrants who came here legally, believed in what America stood for, and did what was necessary to become full fledged Americans.

My grandmother arrived here on a boat. She came over with her family from southern Italy by way of Cherbourg. They settled in the mountains of West Virginia and worshipped in their faith late at night in a sanctuary loaned to them by the local Baptist Church. Their father started out working as a laborer for the State Road Commission and eventually built several businesses in Barbour County, West Virginia.

They changed their names. Nicolo became Nick. Franceso became Frank. Philomena became Minnie. They were strictly taught to speak only English because, as my grandmother put it "Dad said that it was rude to speak Italian around natives because they might think you were talking about them." The father sent all of his children to the nearby college.

When World War II and Korea came, they volunteered to go fight for their country and flag. These men and women were and are proud Americans. Yes they retained their pride at being Italian, but not one would place the old country flag over top of that of the United States.

It is a shameful day when American students cannot wear the flag that our forefathers fought and died for because of fear that it might cause offense. And if it does cause offense, so be it! If you are here from another country and the flag of the United States of America offends you, well you know where the border is, buddy. Don't let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out. No one should ever be sanctioned for proudly and appropriately displaying OUR flag.

Thank you.


Stephen A. Smoot
Keyser, West Virginia

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Hutaree Militia and Aaron Burr

The government case against the Hutaree militia, according to Andrew Brietbart's "Big Journalism" blog, is quickly unraveling.
The news told us several weeks ago that the government had foiled in the nick of time a diabolical plot to assassinate law enforcement officers. This plot was cooked up in the Michigan backcountry by a "Christian right wing militia."
On TV, the United States attorneys and FBI agents almost always try to get their ducks in a row before proceeding. They want an airtight case and exude professionalism. In this case, Special Agent Leslie Larsen was unable to answer questions about the case and had failed to bring her notes with her. United States District Court Judge Victoria Roberts denied a motion that the group be held without bail.
The judge, defense, and anyone paying attention must be shocked at the inability of an agent in charge to answer even simple questions about a case that was supposedly thoroughly investigated. The judge expressed her shock and indignation before setting bail.
Hutaree members face charges of conspiracy, among other things, for discussing the murder of police officers. Defense attorneys pointed out that laughing and joking indicated an element of fantasy, to which Agent Larsen agreed. But she countered with the statement that killing police officers is not a joking matter.
She is right. Few people would find that funny that anyone would advocate the killing of law enforcement even in jest. So why weren't rap groups in the 1990s arrested and charged with the same crimes? They openly proclaimed that their listeners should go kill police officers at a time when urban violence was rising. Threatening police officers is no laughing matter and nothing that a sane individual ought to joke about. Nor should they sing (if rapping is considered singing) about killing police. That being said, the First Amendment protected the right of rap groups in the 1990s. Unless the government has more substance to their case, the Hutaree will be freed as well.
In the early 1800s, Aaron Burr had a run of self-induced bad luck. He stabbed Jefferson in the back and tried to steal the presidency from him in an Electoral College mishap. Burr then fatally killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. His last gasp at some kind of influence and power lay to the West. Burr planned to go to what was then Mexico, seize land there, then establish his own empire. Many in the U.S. thought Burr wanted the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and New Orleans. We now know he didn't, but speculation back then ran wild.
President Jefferson still nurtured hatred for Burr. He declared Burr a traitor and had him arrested on those grounds. Burr was taken to Richmond to be tried in federal district court for treason. The government's only proof of a treasonous mindset was the Jefferson declaration. Otherwise, Burr was merely collecting guns and money, abiding by the laws of the United States such as they were.
Chief Justice John Marshall presided over the district court. He gave the court's opinion to the jury before it retired. It found Burr not guilty. Burr was found not guilty because the mere statement by the executive branch that a person or persons is/are guilty of treason is not enough to form evidence. Biographer Jean Edward Smith wrote "He had no affection for Burr, especially after the death of Hamilton, yet he was determined that the text of the Constitution be adhered to."
Under Obama the government has been issuing increasingly hostile statements about the gathering storm of anger against it. It warned the country that gun owners, veterans, and others might grow dangerous. Now we see the arrest of nine people based upon, what looks like right now, stupid jokes.
In the Hutaree case, we either see a real example of a conspiracy that was fumbled by an incompetent FBI agent or an incident of government action due to the fact that these people happen to dislike those in charge of their government. Either way, the Justice Department has a lot of explaining to do on this case.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Simply Put, We Are On the Verge of Becoming a Banana Republic!

Watch the video above, a clip from C Span. Rep Ron Paul (R) 14th Texas is questioning Chairman Bernanke of the Federal Reserve. The Fed Chairman admitted that the federal government has printed money to cover expenditures, a practice called "monetizing the debt." Lyndon Johnson's administration did this as well and it helped to create the dire stagflation crisis of the 1970s. Obama's irresponsible administration is doing the same. Monetizing the debt inflates the currency tremendously, eroding the value of people's savings. In a sense it operates as a tax because the government spends money at the expense of wealth held by the people.

Scary times, folks. Scary times.

Zoning Kills Competition and Communities

This article demonstrates the killing power that zoning laws create. They attack small, locally owned businesses by eliminating the convenience and connections that they have in the communities.

A group of Mineral Countians has supported bringing zoning laws into the area for years. They express the fear that someday Mineral County will wake up one day and look like a county in Virginia that is ten minutes' drive from Washington D. C.

This article describes the true cost of zoning laws. Put that against the fanciful idea that within ten, twenty, or fifty years that this county will be completely urbanized.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Obama Politically Damaging Congressional Democrats

In the above Politico story, congressional campaign staffs, notably that of Nancy Pelosi, have reacted with alarm at the recent statements of Obama. He blames problems on "Washington" or "Congress" rather than Republicans specifically. In carefully guarded language, congressional Democrats claim the Obama is trying to position himself for re-election rather than align himself with the most unpopular Congress in history.

Of course Congress has gotten so unpopular by trying to enact Obama's radical agenda.

This family spat will grow more interesting as we get closer to November. Democrats will lose many seats and likely at least one house of Congress this fall because of Obama and Pelosi. Now Obama is abandoning them. Not that the country can stand another session of this Congress, but now even Democrats will understand that this might be the most narcissistic president in memory.