Saturday, April 11, 2009

Great illustration… a lesson in socialism -

An economics professor at Texas Tech said he had never failed a single student before, but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied little. The second test average was a D!

No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. 

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Johnny Carson, Dom DeLuise and the Egg Trick

I'm not sure I didn't see this one when it happened. Brilliant!

Princeton University physicist Dr. Will Happer, who says he was fired by Vice President Al Gore for failing to adhere to Gore’s views on global warming, has now declared that man-made warming fears are “mistaken.”

Happer, who served as the director of Energy Research at the Department of Energy from 1990 to 1993, said, “I had the privilege of being fired by Al Gore, since I refused to go along with his alarmism. I did not need the job that badly.”

He said in 1993, “I was told that science was not going to intrude on policy."

Now Happer has asked to join the more than 650 international scientists who have spoken out against man-made global warming fears and are cited in the 2008 U.S. Senate Minority Report from Environmental and Public Works Committee ranking member James Inhofe, R-Okla.

“I am convinced that the current alarm over carbon dioxide is mistaken,” Happer told the committee on Dec. 22.

President-elect Barack Obama’s choice as his top science adviser, Harvard University professor John Holdren, is a staunch believer in the dangers of man-made global warming and advised Gore on his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Dr. Happer has published over 200 scientific papers, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Sen. Inhofe said that the statements of prominent scientists like Happer who are willing to publicly dissent from climate fears strike a blow to the United Nations, Gore, and the media’s claims about global warming.

“The endless claims of a 'consensus' about man-made global warming grow less and less credible every day," Inhofe said.

Happer declared, “I have spent a long research career studying physics that is closely related to the greenhouse effect — for example, absorption and emission of visible and infrared radiation, and fluid flow. Fears about man-made global warming are unwarranted and are not based on good science. The earth's climate is changing now, as it always has. There is no evidence that the changes differ in any qualitative way from those of the past . . . 

“Computer models used to generate frightening scenarios from increasing levels of carbon dioxide have scant credibility.”

Friday, April 10, 2009

One World Center

That's the name of the building going up at the site of the World Trade Center. You might remember that the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed on September 11, 2001 by a terrorist act.

When the plans were being developed to rebuild on the site, the name of the new building was to be Freedom Tower. Today we're hearing that will probably not happen, that in the interest in marketing the space in the building, it will be called by it's address One World Center.

This is because the marketing company feels they can rent out the property easier without the word "freedom" in the title. It's been suggested that calling it the "Freedom Tower" might target it for future attacks. The name didn't seem to be the problem in the prior attacks on the building. No, this is a marketing ploy. Seems that the word "freedom" is unsettling to prospective tenants.

What an insult to the people of the United States. And the world. And especially to the dead and their families. Over three thousand people died on September 11, 2001, every last one of the them innoncent of any wrong doing to deserve the deaths they suffered. We tend to ignore,or may just not think of, the people who were citizens of other countries who died that day. These were people who worked for foreign companies with space in the Twin Towers or foreign born who worked for Americn companies. It doesn't really matter. On that day, everyone who died was a victim of a horrendous act that defies my understanding. Even today, my mind boggles trying to understand how 19 men could do such a thing. Not just them, but the other people who would do the same thing today.

As far as I am concerend, every last person, American or foreign national, every police officer, firefighter, pilot, flight attendant, passenger, who died that day died in the name of Freedom. Someone who doesn't want us to be free to live our lives as we do took those precious lives with no more thought than swatting a fly.

Is marketing more important than remembering that day, and the lives that were taken? I'm a capitalist, and believe that every consideration should be made when trying to market your product. But this is one time I don't want to see anyone make money on a project. Sometimes money is the least important consideration. 

My personal opinion is to leave the footprint of the building as a park. Call it Freedom Park. Call it Rememberance Park. I don't care. But don't negate the impact of the deaths that occured on that site or the reason they died. 

Over the last few years, I've found myself attracted to companies that use America, or Freedom, or Patriot in their names. I don't necessarily choose a business based on it's name, but it does attact my attention faster than another name might. And in business, your name is usually the first thing a customer sees. It better catch their attention and get them in the door. Of course, you have the provide the service to keep them coming back. But you have to get them in the door first. 

Knowing that about myself, which do you think I would look at first? Freedom Tower or One World Center?
"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow."

--James Madison (likely), Federalist No. 62, 1788

Thursday, April 09, 2009

'Journalism' Goes from Low Standards to No Standards

Posted By Bobby Eberle On April 9, 2009 at 6:42 am

It's frightening what is happening in this country. On the one hand, we have a collection of elected officials in Washington such as Obama, Pelosi, and Reid who are hell bent on driving America as far left as possible. Don't work or strive to be better, just rely on the government... that's their motto.

On the other hand, we have a media that's delighted to help them. Rather than simply covering news events (which they do with a liberal spin), they also set out to make new events. Through "features," interviews, and "analysis" pieces, they create stories out of thin air in order to move the American public more to the left. But now, it's hit a new low. It turns out that not only is Katie Couric's interview with Gov. and then Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin considered "solid reporting," it is being rewarded with a "prestigious" award. What is the world coming to?

That's right... On April 15, Couric will receive the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Journalism. It is unbelievable that the words "excellence" and "journalism" are allowed to appear in the same sentence, since journalism has moved beyond reporting to advocacy. They have "their" issues. They have "their" candidates. They have "their" agenda. And, they will promote it above all else.

Forget journalistic standards. Those only apply if a liberal is being scrutinized. If it's a conservative, forget it! All bets are off, and anything goes.

The Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Journalism is being presented by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication. Couric's award in particular is under the category of "Special Achievement for National Impact on the 2008 Campaign." I can't read it without rolling my eyes. Since when is "gotcha journalism" considered a "special achievement?"

The award description is even more laughable. Apparently, Couric is being recognized for her "extraordinary, persistent and detailed multi-part interviews with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin which judges called a "defining moment in the 2008 presidential campaign."

As documentary filmmaker John Ziegler writes in an op-ed on, "[F]or Katie Couric, the poster child of news as 'infotainment,' to be the recipient of such an 'honor' is like giving John Murtha or Barney Frank a trophy for frugal spending in Congress."

It is obvious that Couric is being rewarded for the political result of her interview -- the shooting down of a conservative superstar just in time to save the Obama campaign. It’s not about the “journalism” at all. But even that truth is not the most outrageous aspect of this absurdity. What’s even more absurd is that not only shouldn’t Couric be getting rewarded for her Palin interview, if we lived in a world where journalistic standards still mattered at all, she would have been roundly condemned for it.

Ziegler is about to release his documentary titled Media Malpractice. In it, he talks at length with Gov. Palin about the media coverage she received during the campaign. Here is a portion:

Any one who has followed what I have written about Gov. Palin knows that I have my ups and downs. I love and appreciate her conservative credentials. I also admire her no-nonsense approach to relaying those issues to the American public. It's what I try to do in all my writings... get to the point, let people know exactly where you stand, and give people the facts they need to make important decisions. On the flip side, there is no doubt she could have handled the interviews better. She was a journalism major and working in broadcasting! Anyone can see these "gotcha" questions coming from a mile away. She needs to do a better job explaining the issues that concern voters. They WILL NOT elect someone who can't talk about the issues of the day.

That being said, her response to the Couric questions does not justify Couric asking those questions. It was like the interview when then Gov. George W. Bush was asked to provide the name of a particular country's leader. He didn't know the answer, and it made the news. The fact is that there are tons of questions reporters can ask to stump a candidate, and the American people should recognize that such a practice is wrong. Couric did nothing but act as a tool for Obama and the liberal elite.

Organizations like the New York Times wonder why their circulation is going down, and MSNBC wonders why no one watches their political shows. It's amazing. More Americans consider themselves to be conservative rather than liberal, but the media preaches as if anyone who is conservative is out of touch. Rewarding Couric for her "journalism" is a slap in the face of any American who actually has a brain.
Very Clever Marketing Technique

And just as clever, offering the video for embedding on websites, getting that much more exposure.

Very clever indeed.
Posted By Bobby Eberle On April 3, 2009 at 7:08 am

Working late yesterday, the House and the Senate passed budgets which more or less follow Obama's plan. We are now on the verge of seeing the largest budget in the history of the country signed into law. All that's needed is for the House and Senate to iron out the differences and for Obama to sign the bill into law.

With passage, America will move one step closer to socialism, with taxes going up and freedoms going down. And what do we hear from the Democrats? The same tired line that they are doing this to fix the "mess they inherited" over the "past eight years." It's a line that plays well in the media and resonates with the American public. But, as usual, the phrase is not only misleading, it's just plain wrong.

First, a little perspective. For most of the Bush presidency, the country experienced economic growth. In the first quarter of 2002, the economy grew at 2.74 percent. In the third quarter of 2003, the growth stood at 7.49 percent. The first quarter of 2006 saw growth at 4.82 percent.

Then, at the end of 2007, we saw the effects of the housing mess starting to take hold. The fourth quarter of 2007 featured "growth" of -0.17 percent. There was a rebound in the next two quarters, and then everything went south. The last two quarters of 2008 had negative growth (recession) of -0.51 and -6.34 percent, respectively.

For real economic analysis of what happened, I recommend The Heritage Foundation and other similar web sites. However, from a logical perspective, I'd like to pass along a few Friday tidbits for thought.

First, Obama and the Democrats love to blame the economic collapse on Wall Street and those evil "derivative" traders. When someone is out of a job, it's easy to point the finger at "the rich guy," and the Democrats do this with precision. What Obama doesn't tell the American public is that trading on Wall Street is something that goes on everyday. The problem isn't that some people were trading... the problem is what was being traded. With lending institutions being forced by the government to make bad loans, it was only a matter of time before the trading of these "assets" would lead to problems. Is this a problem, Obama inherited? Yes. But it was a problem he inherited from the Democrats going back to the Clinton administration. Their push to put people into houses they couldn't afford is a major component of the mess we're in today.

Then, there are the "Bush" budgets. Yes, the budgets were too big. No doubt about it. The spending, spending, spending, and more spending are four reasons why Americans turned away from the Republican Party. They expected fiscal discipline and, in return, got more spending and more government programs.

As reports, following the passage of the budget, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, "It's going to take a lot of work to clean up the mess we inherited, and passing this budget is a critical step in the right direction."

First of all, there is the key piece of information that liberals love to forget, and that is that Democrats controlled the House and Senate for the last two of those "terrible eight years." Did they exercise fiscal discipline with their budgets? No. Second, and more to the point, during the first six years of the Bush presidency, did they put forward budgets that spent less? No.

There was always debate over any Bush budget, and in that debate, the Democrats always wanted to spend more. Had Bush relented and passed Democrat budgets instead of Republican ones, the "mess" that the current Democrats say they "inherited" would be even worse.

Now, Obama basically has the budget he wanted. We will soon see plans for massive health care spending, environmental taxing, and more and more. The deficits will reach new heights and the debt will be massive. The Democrats will say that it is necessary to "fix the mess we inherited," but in reality, they are spending, spending, spending, and taxing, taxing, taxing in order to advance a socialist agenda that will cost even more in the upcoming years.

Perhaps in 2010 or 2012 or 2016, Republicans can run on the message that we need to "fix the mess we inherited." But will it be fixable by then? I certainly hope so.


"The mess we inherited"? Tell me, is this an entirely new Congress? There's not one Congressman who was in office last year? I know I've been out of touch, but it seems to me that while there are indeed new members of Congress, there are a heck of a lot in both houses, and from both sides of the aisle who not only were in office last year but some for a lot of years. Kennedy...Kerry...Pelosi...Reid...Dodd to name just a few off the top of my head.

Look, Congress may feel that they have a "mess" to clean up. Personally, I think that's the feeling more of the liberal side and the Democrats than it is the the more moderately minded, much less the conservatives or the Republicans. I'll absolve anyone elected in November who is new to Congress, meaning that they were not re-elected to either chamber, or went from the House to the Senate, or the other way around. 

The President can't make law, Congress makes the law. The President presents a bill, it goes through Congress, and finally to the President's desk for signature. Congress may feel that there's a gun held to their head and pass it through both Houses, but it is still passed by Congress. Bush made mistakes, but a lot of those mistakes were aided and abetted by Congress simply because Congress allowed a bill to go through it's chambers.

And let's not forget: many bills are passed because of favors. Favors offered to vote for a current bill, or maybe because of something done in the past. It's done in Congress, it's done between Congress and the White House, and it's done between Congress and lobbyists. And probably other ways, too. 

My advice to Congress: the American public isn't nearly as stupid, dumb, and ignorant as you think. We're on to you. Change was the buzzword during the last election. You want change? Don't wish for something you just might get.
Someone once accused me of stealing an old, rare, valuable stamp, and I philately denied it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tricks hackers' use you probably never heard about!

Looks like cybercriminals have turned social networking into a minefield of threats where one wrong move may have very serious consequences. Long gone are the days when you could avoid being scammed simply by using antivirus software. The more aware we are the harder bad guys are working on fooling us. And let me tell you, their techniques are getting more and more sophisticated! Have a look at some examples of the latest cyber criminals’ creations and how to avoid them.

1. Koobface (social networking worm). It gains access to Facebook profile pages and directs you to view a video that then encourages you to update your Flash player. Malicious files such as flash_update.exe and bloivar29.exe are being downloaded and installed which results in a range of visible problems, including modifications to your Facebook profile, with the immediate result being an error message to contact support. There is also the very real potential for your identity and finances to be compromised!

2. Picture files carrying malware are "planted" on social networking websites and instant messaging programs. Hackers try to convince you that your friend has sent you a message or IM to view pictures. Legitimate looking URL when clicked on sends you to an illegitimate website hosting malicious files and executables, which have been modified to appear to be genuine picture files (jpg, gif or bmp). When you download and open those "pictures"; the malware unknowingly runs on your computer. It allows hacker to take control over your operating system as well as the information in it and exposes you to identity fraud and financial loss!

3. UPS Delivery Threat, also known as Zbot. It delivers an illegitimate file when you are visiting a counterfeit UPS delivery site. Zbot has been known to distribute via email phishing and instant messenger. Upon informing you that you have missed a UPS delivery, the message urges you to view the invoice online, which in fact sends you to the counterfeit website which downloads a malicious program designed to bypass the firewall and then steal banking and personal information.

1. Be wary of unexpected IM messages and emails urging you to open or run an attachment or download

2. Run up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software with behavioural protection – such as Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus. Keep it running in the background at all times.

3. Ensure you run Smart Updates and Microsoft updates regularly.

4. If you are asked to update to a new version of a flash player or any other program go to producers’ website and download the update directly from it.

5. Organisations usually contact you by phone or mail, so when you get an email call them back instead of clicking on any links or attachments.

6. Never let your guard down, it’s better to be too cautious then sorry.


Received from PC Tools. It's scary to know what's going on out there. Please, take care when you're on the 'Net.

Even if you're running the best anti-virus, malware, and spy ware programs please don't click on a hyperlink in email from someone you don't know. If you don't know them, delete it. Better to be safe than sorry.

I know a couple of people who don't accept email with attachments. Period. No matter who it's from, known or not known. A couple more don't accept email from people they don't know. They have their programs set up so that they have to approve the sender. It may take a day or two before the recipient reads the email or responds to you, even if you are legit. They are protecting their computer lives, which includes their identity, and their finances. Not a bad idea. I'm going to check into this for my own email. If a sender gets their feelings hurt over this, well, in my humble opinion, that's just too bad. They'll either get over it or you won't be getting the forwards they're sending to everybody in their address book. I can say that because I'm guilty of it myself (not getting my feelings hurt, sending on forwards).

Be very careful about clicking links in advertisements whether in your email or when you're surfing the 'Net. There are unscrupulous people out there who build sites to look exactly like legitimate sites just to get your information and if they are really lucky, your money. If you get an email from, say your bank saying you need to take care of something and to please click on the link they've so thoughtfully provided, don't. Use your bookmark or type in the URL for that business. A hyperlink in an email from your bank, mortgage company, credit card company and a whole host of others won't exist in a legitimate email. This is probably one of those fake sites. Maybe not, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

A few months ago, Pay Pal sent me an email saying I needed to change my password. I got very suspicious because that was the first time online business had required me to change my log-in information. Not the first time I had received similar requests - those were usually from companies I did not have business with and I knew it was a scam (and reported to the Feds, btw). I don't remember if there was a hyperlink attached, but I used my bookmark and tried to log in. I got a message saying I had to change my password. I was still concerned, so sent an email to Pay Pal support asking what the heck!?

Turned out, this was legit. So, I logged in and changed my password. I wasn't happy about it because I had recently changed it on my own, but apparently they had software that picked me and wasn't going to let me back in until I did what it wanted. The upshot is that I questioned it and found out this was a legit request. Nothing wrong with that. Ask questions. If a company gets it's nose out of joint because you asked if an email was legit, think twice about dealing with that business. Every online business understands that there are cybercrooks out there and should be willing to bend over backwards to assure you that their email was really sent from them. And if it's not, the should want to know about it. They want your business and they don't want to get a reputation of a business that doesn't care about the online welfare of their customers.

Just a few tips to keep you safe. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Posted By Bobby Eberle On April 8, 2009 at 6:47 am This past week, we witnessed Barack Obama during his "I'm sorry for being an American" tour. During remarks in France and Turkey, Obama showed little knowledge of facts and history as he tried to make Europe "like" him by apologizing for America being America... for taking the lead when no other countries will. It was absolutely pathetic that a president of the United States feels the need to disparage his predecessor on foreign soil and to make apologies for America. America leads, America succeeds, and America is willing to take a stand. For a president to apologize for this is something that is beyond crazy. Obama has already shown his disdain for the American dream with his policies at home. Now, he is bent on showing the world that America is no good either. Well, I'm from America, and I DON'T apologize! As a bit of background, following the G-20 summit, Obama made a series of "campaign" stops in countries around the world and carried a similar theme throughout his talks: I'm sorry for the America of the past. Here's some of the lowlights and their translation: * Obama Comment: In a student town hall meeting in Turkey, Obama asked the world to look past his nation's "stereotypes and flaws." * Translation: Every country has stereotypes, but I'd love for Obama to actually list what our flaws are. What Obama is really doing is saying, "The country may have its stereotypes and flaws but I'm perfect, so follow me and disregard the country that elected me. We will soon transform it to be more like you." * Obama Comment: "You can choose to make new bridges instead of new walls." * Translation: Despite America's long history of fighting for freedom, liberals in America talk about how George W. Bush "went it alone," and alienated countries... so Obama is going to perpetuate this by talking about "walls." * Obama Comment: "I am personally committed to a new chapter in American engagement. We can't afford to talk past one another and focus only on our differences, or to let the walls of mistrust go up around us." * Translation: There we go... more walls, but in this case, it's phrasing like this that are direct swipes at former President Bush. I challenge anyone to find a Bush speech where he "looked past anyone" or focused "only on our differences." How many times did we go to the U.N. regarding Iraq? How many countries were involved in its liberation? Yet, Obama felt it necessary to talk about "walls of mistrust." * Obama Comment: "Some people say that maybe I'm being too idealistic. ... But if we don't try, if we don't reach high, we won't make any progress." * Translation: Does this one need a translation? Geez! He's the president of the United States, and he's shouting, "Look at me, look at me, look at me." And then, of course, there is this gem from another town hall meeting in France: * Comment: "It's always harder to forge true partnerships and sturdy alliances than to act alone. ... In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of ... seeking to partner with you ... there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." * Translation: Where do I even start? What is NATO? Isn't that a "true partnership?" What about all the other treaties, trade agreements, economic collaborations, etc.? Aren't these true partnerships? Of course they are. But it's so much easier for Obama to label himself the good guy and his country the bad guy. He's seeking to be liked in Europe by bad-mouthing the country he represents. When he talks about "arrogance," this, of course, is another swipe at George W. Bush and the image that liberals sought to spread. Again, I challenge Obama to actually list where America has been arrogant, dismissive and derisive. We are talking about world politics, not talking points! You can't just throw out lines like that about the greatest country in the world! (Yikes, being arrogant.) If that is how he feels, then he needs to be specific and put out a list. Fortunately, most Americans do not agree with Obama's perception of his own country. As Scott Rasmussen points out in his latest Rasmussen Reports poll, most American voters -- 54% -- say "it would be better for the world if Europe became more like the United States." Only 22% had the opposite view. There are two real problems I have with Obama's comments. The first is that they are simply cheap political theater. A sitting president of the United States should not be taking shots at his predecessor, especially on foreign soil. Making yourself look good by making America look bad is not an action becoming a president of the United States. It is pathetic. Second, Obama's comments show that he has little understanding of history, Europe, or America. European leaders, and thus a portion of each country's citizenry, don't dislike us because we are dismissive or derisive. They dislike us because we are successful. While other nations bowed to the demands of dictators and aggressive nations, America stood up and said, "Not only will we fight for us, we will fight and die for you too." America, in a little over 200 years, has built the largest economy in the world. Other nations turn to us for advice, protection, guidance, you name it. America is not afraid to lead. Leadership and success lead to resentment, and to have Obama apologize for this is disgraceful. I am an American, and I am proud of this country. I am proud that we fought for Great Britain, France, and other countries of the world during WWII. I am proud that when no other countries moved a muscle, America took the lead in throwing Iraq out of Kuwait. I am proud that American innovation has put men on the moon and lead to a medical system that is the envy of the world. Where do those America-bashing world leaders go when they are sick? One guess. I'm from America, and I DON'T apologize.
I'm not sure I entirely agree with the "translations" given, it seems like everyone is trying to tell us what someone else "really" means. Maybe what is said is what is meant. But then again, we're talking about politicians, and we all know that politicians can say one thing, mean something else, and expect us to understand they're saying something else entirely different. Sorry, I left my Politician to Citizen translation book in another dimension. But I do agree with one thing: I'm from America and I don't apologize - for being from America or being an American. As a country, we may have made mistakes. Our leaders may have and maybe will make mistakes. The last I looked, our leadership, as well as the citizens of this country are humans, and as such, will make mistakes. As adults we show responsibility by admitting to our own mistakes. I am not going to throw someone else under the bus by pointing fingers and essentially saying that someone else screwed up. And I am not going to keep throwing them under the bus over and over again. This is change? This is going forward? That doesn't seem to be in my translation guide. I'm an American and I make no bones about it. The things that we are criticized about today are the things that we used to be praised for: leadership and generosity. The rest of the world used to look to the US in times of need such as war. The rest of the world looked to the US when disaster struck. The rest of the world knew they could depend on the US to send troops, money, goods, whatever was needed. The US is expected to do the right thing. Know what? Even though the rest of the world looks down on us because we did what they expected, they will continue to expect us to do exactly the same thing. Why not follow our hearts and do what we know to be the right thing? They will damn us if we do and damn us if we don't. Mr. Obama, don't apologize for America. You want change? Ask the rest of the world to apologize to us and tell them to go pound sand the next time they need something if they don't. I'm tired of our politicians sounding like teenagers trying to make the "cool" kids like them. We might need something from the rest of the world, but they need us just as much, if not more.

Dear FairTax supporter,

I wanted to drop you a note--in the middle of some very hectic days--to fill you in on a few exciting things that are happening with our national campaign right now. This is a time of growth and new excitement about the FairTax that is helping us build the essential grassroots base.

We've appeared on more than 700 radio talk shows in the last 28 months! These shows are bringing more and more people to the web site and many new supporters are joining our cause! Here are a few other items I think you will find of interest:

The New FairTax Ad

Here's a sneak peek at our Investor's Business Daily (IBD) ad running in Monday's edition of the paper. We've used humor to get across a serious message to a large national audience. Our two past ads in IBD and our ads in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and smaller papers were big hits causing a real spike in both membership recruitment and web visits.

The Rallies

We are up to our necks now in the final details of our two upcoming FairTax rallies. The rallies will be exciting and a lot of fun and will see national figures like Mike Huckabee and Neal Boortz as well as prominent local FairTaxers. Sean Hannity's show will live broadcast an interview from our South Carolina rally, April 15th.

Web streaming the "Save the Nation" South Carolina Rally

We will be showing the very best FairTax YouTube videos at each rally and the South Carolina rally will be featured on a special web streaming link at 

The FairTax Petition

We are closing in on 100,000 petition signatures as I write this message (Sign the petition now if you have not already). The petition will be delivered to the White House on or shortly after April 15th. Together with our outstanding response to Mr. Obama's website, the "Reinvent the RNC" web site and "ChangeDC" we are making our presence known.

On Capitol Hill

The recent "Special Order" on the floor of the House of Representatives, was hosted by Rep. Steve King of Iowa and featured an hour of talk about the FairTax. It was seen across the nation and created a lot of helpful and healthy excitement. We are still getting resistance from DC tax reform groups--of all people--as well as Members of Congress but that resistance will increasingly evaporate as we continue to grow stronger.

Growing Supporter Base

Right now, we are adding from 300 to 600 new supporters a day. This is the time to reach out to everyone you know and tell them that the FairTax is non-partisan, can save the economy and help every taxpayer. Here is an issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on!

Here at HQ

After April 15th, our biggest push will be turning FairTaxers out to Town Hall meetings hosted by elected officials. It is high time they hear, face-to-face from hometown constituents on the FairTax. This can make a big difference in winning co-spoAlign Centernsors to our legislation.

National Voices

Finally, we've been talking a lot recently with "Joe the Plumber" who is launching a national push for the FairTax. Joe represents the voice of the average man in desiring a better tax system and his help is most welcome. Watch Joe talk about the FairTax on HBO tonight on "Real Time with Bill Maher" and on Fox Sunday night on "Geraldo At Large." He'll be on stage in Lansing, Michigan and outside Atlanta at a Tea Party rallies April 15th talking about the FairTax. You go Joe!

We've also been talking a lot with Tea Party national leaders. The Tea Parties are a true grassroots outpouring of discontent with government spending and we are the best answer for the nation. They are organizing around the problem and we are organizing around the solution. Our two campaigns belong together. Neal Boortz and Mike Huckabee continue to carry our message to a national audience and we are, of course, very grateful.

I hope to see many of you at the upcoming rallies. Keep the faith--and keep up the good work!


Ken Hoagland
National Communications Director


Received in email from Ken Hoagland

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

That's One Smart Lion

A lion was roaming an African jungle. He was terribly hungry. Soon, he came across two men sitting under a tree. One was pounding away on a typewriter. The other was reading a book. 

The lion devoured the man reading the book. 

He avoided the writer. 

Even lions know that readers digest and writer's cramp.

I believe - 

That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

Monday, April 06, 2009

If love is blind and marriage is an institution, does that mean that marriage is an institution for the blind?
FairTax "Save the Nation" Rally 

These rallies have taken on the name Tea Parties. No, this isn't something where the Queen of England would pour, or perhaps in the case of HRH Queen Elizabeth, have poured for her. 

You might remember from history class that on December 13, 1773, Boston patriots exhibited their "displeasure" with the  English Parliment taxing their subjects in the Colonies, now known, of course as the United States of America. The Patriots felt that these taxes violated their constitutional rights to be taxed only by their own elected officials. It wasn't just tea that was being taxed, but tea was available in ships docked in Boston Harbor, and so it was boxes and crates of tea that ended up flavoring the waters that night. 

The main difference is that today, our own elected officials are the ones taxing us out the wazoo. Then taking our taxes and using it in whatever way they feel appropriate and not necessarily how the wage earners it was taken from would approve of using it. 

Today, tea parties are being hosted across the United States. Citizens feel that Washington is out of control and want to remind Congress and, yes, the White House, that we thing you're doing a crappy, to say the least job, and we want to take our country, and our tax dollars back. 

On April 11, a Tea Party will be held in Jacksonville Florida, at The Jacksonville Landing
Doors open at 12:30 with schedule starting at 1:30.

and on Wednesday, April 15, another rally in Columbia, SC, at The Township Auditorium, 1703 Taylor Street
Doors open at 4:30 pm with the schedule starting at 5:30 pm.

Several FairTax "all stars" will be at one or even both events, including:

Former Gov. and Presidential Candidate, Mike Huckabee 
Syndicated radio host and FairTax book author, Neal Boortz 
FairTax bill Lead-Sponsor, Rep. John Linder (GA-7)
FairTax bill co-sponsor, Rep. Steve King (IA-5) 
Business entrepreneur and radio host, Herman Cain 
Ga. Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, John Oxendine 
National Communications Director for AFFT, Ken Hoagland

It's free to attend, but but space is limited so RSVP Jacksonville and/or Columbia now! 

More information at
Conflicker: A Big Dustup about Nothing

Conflicker, the latest Internet bug-a-boo, turned out to be no more than a big yawn on April 1. 

That's not to mean we shouldn't take proper precautions against computer threats such as worms, viruses, and whatever else is out there. 

This from Kim Komando, who says it much better than I can:


Perhaps the most hyped date in computer security came and went last week. I'm talking about April 1, of course. That was the day the Conficker worm supposedly contacted the mothership.

Maybe you missed all the excitement. That's probably because there wasn't any. The date was more a media brouhaha. There were no mobs in the streets, milling about in panic. But Conficker probably did call home. And it probably got instructions to do things we won't like.

Conficker is believed to be a child of renegade, Eastern European programmers. Up to 12 million computers have been roped into its army. It could spread spam, steal identities or attack Web sites. It probably will do all three.

If your security software is up to date, you should be OK. If you cannot install or update security software, you have a problem. Conficker blocks security installations.

Kitten again: Kim offers free (yes, free!) programs to deworm your computer if, in fact, you have been infected by Conflicker. You can find them, and many more, here

I highly recommend checking out Kim's site. It's full of interesting information, free programs that Kim guarantee's to be free and to do what they claim to do, and fun stuff, too. These are programs that have been checked out by Kim and/or her staff. 

Some programs recommended by Kim aren't free. For example, I purchased a Carbonite subscription on Kim's recommendation and have been so glad that I did. My computer has crashed on several occasions and I haven't lost a single file yet. My files are all backed up and stored off my computer. So when I've had to wipe my computer back to factory settings, I go to Carbonite, start a restore, and get all my files back. I've not lost the first music file, photo, or document since subscribing to Carbonite.

I sound like I'm selling Carbonite. In a sense I am, because I'm so happy with it. And glad I took Kim's recommendation to look at Carbonite in the first place. 

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. 

After explaining the commandment to 'Honor thy father and thy mother,' she asked, 'Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?'

Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, 'Thou shall not kill.'
By Steve Aquino | Thu April 2, 2009 12:33 PM PST

Should President Obama have the power to shut down domestic Internet traffic during a state of emergency?

Senators John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) think so. On Wednesday they introduced a bill to establish the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor—an arm of the executive branch that would have vast power to monitor and control Internet traffic to protect against threats to critical cyber infrastructure. That broad power is rattling some civil libertarians.

The Cybersecurity Act of 2009 (PDF) gives the president the ability to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" and shut down or limit Internet traffic in any "critical" information network "in the interest of national security." The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition would be left to the president.

The bill does not only add to the power of the president. It also grants the Secretary of Commerce "access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access." This means he or she can monitor or access any data on private or public networks without regard to privacy laws.

Rockefeller made cybersecurity one of his key issues as a member of the Senate intelligence committee, which he chaired until last year. He now heads the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which will take up this bill.

"We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs—from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records—the list goes on," Rockefeller said in a statement. Snowe echoed her colleague, saying, "if we fail to take swift action, we, regrettably, risk a cyber-Katrina."

But the wide powers outlined in the Rockefeller-Snowe legislation has at least one Internet advocacy group worried. "The cybersecurity threat is real," says Leslie Harris, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), "but such a drastic federal intervention in private communications technology and networks could harm both security and privacy."

The bill could undermine the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), says CDT senior counsel Greg Nojeim. That law, enacted in the mid '80s, requires law enforcement seek a warrant before tapping in to data transmissions between computers.

"It's an incredibly broad authority," Nojeim says, pointing out that existing privacy laws "could fall to this authority."

Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that granting such power to the Commerce secretary could actually cause networks to be less safe. When one person can access all information on a network, "it makes it more vulnerable to intruders," Granick says. "You've basically established a path for the bad guys to skip down."

The bill's scope, she says, is "contrary to what the Constitution promises us." That's because of the impact it could have on Internet users' privacy rights: If the Commerce Department uncovers evidence of illegal activity when accessing "critical" networks, that information could be used against a potential defendant, even if the department never had the intent to find incriminating evidence. And this might violate the Constitutional protection against searches without cause.

"Once information is accessed, it can be used for whatever purpose, no matter the original reason for accessing something," Granick says. "Who's interested in this [bill]? Law enforcement and people in the security industry who want to ensure more government dollars go to them."

Nojeim, though, thinks it's possible the bill's powers could be trimmed as it moves through Congress. "We will be working with them to clarify just what is needed and how to accomplish that," he says. "We're hopeful that some of the very broad powers that the bill would confer won't be included."


Could the age of Big Brother finally be upon us?

In my humble opinion, this bill is entirely too broad and too vague. I can only hope that it's tweaked and definitions are added. Just what defines a cybersecurity emergency? What is a critical information network? If the President makes the call, why do we even need a National Cybersecurity Advisor? 

hmmm...on second thought, this might be the job of my dreams! Can't wait to see the job description on this one!

Senator Rockefeller? Senator Snowe? Maybe some more work before this bill is introduced?

Just saying.