Go South Young Man…150 Feet

It may only have been a tiny error by surveyors 277 years ago, but it could have stirred up major problems.

Part of the small community of Lake Wylie, South Carolina could today find themselves reclassified as being in neighboring North Carolina.

Modern surveyors – using state of the art GPS – have redrawn the state border to within a few inches of where it had originally meant to be in 1735 – some 150ft further south of where it is today.

But the change could be a monumental upheaval for the hundred or so residents who would find themselves residents of North Carolina – where fuel prices are 30 cents more expensive and fireworks are illegal.

Victor Boulware, owner of a small convenience store, the Lake Wylie Minimarket, says a change would destroy his business, stopping the flow of traffic from the more expensive north who flock to his shop for the cheaper fuel.

He said: ‘If I end up across the line, it is going to shut this business down.’

For the owners of 93 properties who suddenly find themselves in another state, it is also a bureaucratic nightmare.

The state line determines so much in their lives – what schools they go to, what area code their phone number starts with and even who provides them gas and electricity.

Small utility cooperatives in South Carolina are banned from extending services across the state line. Most of the properties in question are near Charlotte, N.C.

“I’m having a hard time being funny about this when mysterious forces bigger than you are shoving you around,” said Frederick Berlinger, who suddenly has been told that he goes to bed at night in Spartanburg County, S.C. after 15 years in what he thought was Polk County, N.C.

The seeds of the current problem were sown when the King of England sent surveyors to draw a boundary between the two Carolinas.

His instructions in 1735 were explicit: Start 30 miles south of the mouth of the Cape Fear River and have surveyors head northwest until they reached 35 degrees latitude.

Then the border would head west across the country to the Pacific Ocean. But the surveyors didn’t follow the instructions exactly, and future instructions led to the state line’s twists and turns around Charlotte and in the mountains.

The surveyors used poles and measured chains, determining what direction to head from the sun and stars, doing math in their heads, and putting hatchet blows on trees to mark the boundary. Over time, those trees disappeared, but the state line still needed to show up on maps.

The survey, which is about to draw to an end, was designed to put almost all questions about where the line is drawn to rest.

North and South Carolina wanted to solve their problems with a little Southern cooperation, so they created the Joint Boundary Commission nearly two decades ago.

The commission meets in Rock Hill, S.C.

Members are expected to work on proposals that they hope will be passed in each state to solve problems that arise from any changes – including an amnesty for any back taxes owed to the other state and allow utilities to cross state lines to serve customers without disruption.

Once both Carolinas take action to make the transition easier for the 93 property owners, the commission will submit the new state line to the Legislature in South Carolina and the North Carolina Council of State for approval.

Not approving the border could open either state up to a number of lawsuits.

The survey work is not finished. The team is preparing to draw the rest of the state line all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Fewer problems are expected because the area is more rural.

Attribution: Daily Mail

The Power of American Exceptionalism

by: Demetrius Minor

This election year’s theme has evolved around one common theme: the identity of America. We’ve heard the rallying voices calling for “restoring”, “believing”, “saving” and “reviving” America. There is this undeniable feeling that America is wayward, distraught and dysfunctional.

The choice is quite simple and fundamental: we can continue to march towards an European socialist society or we can be a nation of economic prosperity, constitutional liberty and freedom. America’s soul has been entrenched by big government welfare and mandates that infringe on individual rights. The enhancement of government, by means of a weak and anemic private sector, has changed America from being an economic promised land to a nation that is being defined by unemployment, joblessness, a divided political front and a lack of efficient leadership at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It is embarrassing and shameful that we currently have a President who does not understand the power of American Exceptionalism. It is quite common for President Obama to travel worldwide “apologizing” for what he perceives to be the flaws and imperfections of America. I wish he would express gratitude for this country.

American Exceptionalism is about being what you dream to be. It’s about taking advantage of the fact that America is one of the greatest nations known to mankind and that it flourishes with plenty of opportunities for many individuals to succeed. American Exceptionalism is not about government dependency. While the absence of government in its entirety would lead to a society in total chaos and disorder, it is the notion that government will meet all your needs that has caused many to be apathetic and indolent.

American Exceptionalism is about YOU. It is about having a good work ethic. It is the blissful reminder that if you dream and believe in God and yourself, that you can indeed be what you want to be. It is not about piggybacking off of other’s successes and blessings. It is not about being entitled to something without working hard and diligently for it. American Exceptionalism promotes the idea that America is great and that the power of free is what makes individuals successful in life. The idea of big government necessity is pure selfishness. The fact that many just want to depend on the government to provide them services without putting in the work and effort as others, is not only selfishness, but its robbery from those who have worked diligently in their life.

I refuse to adhere to the thought that government serves as a lifeguard and rescue mission. My success in life is dependent on Almighty God, the encouragement of family & friends, and the effort I personally put in to achieving my goals. Many may perceive this to be an egotistical analysis. On the contrary, it’s the beauty of American Exceptionalism. Don’t ride the coattails of government. Empower YOURSELF.

Bullseye

For most professional athletes the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of achievement, their ultimate goal.

And there is one archer who is quite literally chomping at the bit to get to London 2012.

Jeff Fabry, of Tulare, California, is one of the world’s best at his sport, a five-time Special Games world champion, and three-time Paralympics medallist.

But Fabry’s achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact that he has only one arm and one leg, having lost the two other limbs in a horrific motorcycle accident at the age of 15.

His life-changing injuries inspired him to learn how to fire arrows using his teeth, pulling them back by biting on a mouthpiece that he made from a nylon dog leash.

“My buddies were out hitting the hills hunting and I was stuck at home and I was like, no, I don’t like this, so I figured out a way to shoot and it happened to be with my teeth,” he told Fox News.

“It was trial and error to find what I considered to be the perfect mouthpiece, where I could be proficient.”

It’s the kind of thing that would give a dentist nightmares, but Fabry insisted: “I’ve been doing this for 13 years and my teeth still look and feel the same the first day I started. Everything is going good, luckily.”

Fabry will compete on the U.S Paralympics Team in London this summer but international success is not his only goal.

He teaches the sport he loves to members of the Wounded Warriors Project, the nonprofit whose mission is to help injured service members cope in civilian society.

“What I’m really proud of is being able to work with our vets who are coming back from the sandbox with different disabilities,” he said.

I got hurt before I could join the military, and this is kind of a way that I can give back to my country by helping our heroes.”

Jim Castaneda is one veteran to have benefited from Fabry’s passion and skill. A member of the Wounded Warriors, Castaneda suffered a traumatic brain injury and a stroke while stationed in the Philippines with the Navy.

He told the news channel:’It’s changed my life completely … I found something that I can do and I really enjoy it and love something now.’

“I’m not just sitting there anymore, like watching my life go by and feeling sorry for myself. Now I’m actually getting up and doing something for myself and trying something else.”

Fabry is gearing up to coach Team Navy Coast Guard in archery at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs.

Teams from the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard, Army and Air Force compete against each other in a U.S Department of Defence competition that is similar to the Olympics.

Arribution: Daily Mail

Ever Feel You Were Being Watched?

In the little town of Bluffdale, Utah, between the Wasatch Range and the Oquirrh Mountains, the National Security Agency (NSA) is building what will be the nation’s largest spy center.

 Dubbed the Utah Data Center, the project is already employing thousands of hardhat workers in its construction and will soon have some 10,000 construction workers building a data center that will be more than five times the size of the nation’s capitol.

“We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore told a local reporter. Mr. Moore is president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project. Plans for the center include a $10 million antiterrorism protection program, a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.

Why all the fuss? Why all the security?

Well, the lead story in Wired magazine for April exposed the Stellar Wind program for its intended purpose: to spy on every jot and scribble of any American citizen’s life all the way down to his “pocket litter:” parking-lot stubs, receipts from McDonalds, tickets from his haircut at Cost Cutters, as well as all the way up to the content of his every e-mail, every Google search, every telephone or cell phone conversation.

Stellar Wind is the code name for an effort approved by President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001 attacks, to mine a large database of communications of American citizens but which was allegedly terminated when Congress pushed back against it.

However, the National Security Agency, awash with funds provided by Congress, is nearly finished constructing the Utah Data Center as the collection point for data provided from around the country and around the world. Its purpose: “to intercept, decipher, analyze and store vast swaths of the world’s communications … [including] all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches.”

In other words, according to James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, when the $2 billion facility (consisting of four 25,000 square-foot buildings full of computer servers and their air conditioning units plus a 900,000 square-foot building to house its technical and administration people) is completed in September, 2013, virtually everything one communicates through any traceable medium, or any record of one’s existence in the electronic medium, which these days is everything, will … become the property of the US government to deal with as its sees fit.

William Binney, a former NSA crypto-mathematician who quit NSA after he realized it was openly and deliberately ignoring privacy limitations built into the Constitution, said in an interview with Bamford, holding his thumb and forefinger close together: “We are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”

Binney headed up a team that built the infrastructure to spy on everyone all the time and, at the time, recommended that NSA install its “tapping gear” only at the nation’s “landing sites” — physical locations where fiber optic cables come ashore — to limit its eavesdropping to international communications only and preserving Americans’ right to privacy.

But NSA ignored Binney’s recommendation and instead decided to build its spy center in Utah, connecting it with satellites and listening posts in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, and elsewhere, with direct links to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, NSA’s research facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and last but not least, the White House.

In addition NSA has two huge data-gathering facilities, each with three 105-foot satellite dishes, one at Catawissa, Pennsylvania, called Roaring Creek, the other at Arbuckle, California, called Salt Creek.

Says Binney, “They violated the Constitution setting it up. But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in their way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.”

One of the challenges NSA faced was decrypting data, such as that encoded by PGP or the much more robust encryption software used by governments. The Advanced Encryption Standard is used to protect most commercial e-mail programs and web browsers and has, until very recently, been considered unbreakable.

To break a 128-bit encryption code, for example, the number of trial-and-error attempts — call “brute force” — requires an incomprehensibly large number of attempts before succeeding: 340 undecillion (10 to the 26th power). But current breakthroughs by NSA, using Cray super computers, now can break such codes in fractions of a second, exposing all information to the light of day and the peering eyes of NSA observers.

At the moment it appears that the two strongest barriers to intrusions on privacy, technological and constitutional, have been shredded. But courts are involved in a variety of challenges to the NSA’s efforts, and the project isn’t due to come online in full flower until a year from September. Such an operation, now out in the open, requires enormous funding.

Congress, given sufficient encouragement and electoral change of heart this November, could just shut it down by defunding it. It’s really up to informed Americans to see where their elected officials stand on privacy versus security and then take appropriate action in the voting booth.

Attribution: Patriot Update, The New American

Constitution 101 (5)

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/week_05_overview.aspx

Lesson 5:“The Separation of Powers: Ensuring Good Government”

Study Guide

Overview
The separation of powers helps to ensure good government at the same time it guards against tyranny. Independent in function but coordinated in the pursuit of justice, the three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—must each have enough power to resist the encroachment of the others, and yet not so much that the liberty of the people is lost.

A political regime has three dimensions: the ruling institutions, the rulers, and the way of life of the people. In America, the rulers—the people themselves—and their ruling institutions—staffed by the people’s representatives—aim at securing the Creator-endowed natural rights of all citizens. The Framers did this in two ways. “Vertically” considered, our ruling institutions are defined by federalism, or the division of power between the national, state, and local governments. “Horizontally” considered, the ruling institutions of the federal government itself are separated and co-equal.

In the American regime, the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land.” No one branch is superior to it; all three branches have a duty to abide by it. While each of the three branches plays a unique role in the passage, execution, and interpretation of laws, all of the branches must work together in the governing process.

The legislative branch is closest to the people. It is also the branch in which the danger of majority tyranny lurks. The passions of the people are reflected most in the House of Representatives, where the members are elected for terms of two years. The Senate, with its six year terms, was designed to be a more stable legislative presence than the House.

The defining characteristic of the executive is “energy.” The president can act swiftly and decisively to deal with foreign threats and to enforce the law, and can also provide a check on legislative tyranny through the veto.

Members of the judiciary, the third branch of government, must exercise judgment in particular cases to secure individual rights. Through “judicial review,” the judiciary is given the authority to strike down laws that are contrary to the Constitution. But judicial review is not judicial supremacy; even the Supreme Court must rely upon the other branches once it has rendered judgment.

The checks that each branch can exercise against the encroachment of the others ultimately protect the liberties of the people. The separation of powers promotes justice and good government by having each branch perform its proper function. This institutional design allows the sovereign people to observe and to know which branch is responsible for which actions in order to hold each to account. The sense of mutual responsibility built into the separation of powers is a reflection of the moral and civic responsibility all Americans share.

Joke of the Day

The father of five children had won a toy at a raffle. He called his kids together to ask which one should have the present.

“Who is the most obedient?” he asked. “Who never talks back to Mother? Who does everything she says?”

Five small voices answered in union. “Okay, Dad. You get the toy.”

Mitt hearts Oil

I don’t agree much with Mitt Romney, but he is right on the money regarding this topic.

rom: Conservative Byte

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney said there is “no question” that President Obama is to blame for rising gas prices and called for the president to fire the “gas hike trio” of cabinet members.

“When [President Obama] ran for office, he said he wanted to see gasoline prices go up,” Romney said. “He said that energy prices would skyrocket under his views, and he selected three people to help him implement that program.

The secretary of energy, the secretary of interior and EPA administrator. And this gas hike trio has been doing the job over the last three-and-a-half years, and gas prices are up. The right course is they ought to be fired because the president has apparently suffered election-year conversion. He’s now decided that gasoline prices should come down.”

Romney went on to say that once Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson submit their letters of resignation, Obama should “start drilling for energy here,” and pursue development of oil, natural gas, and coal resources.

A Fork in the Road

Stuart Chase was a progressive and Fabian socialist, who wrote a book called “The Road we are Traveling”. He wrote this book in 1942.Chase was a well-known progressive of his era and was part of the Woodrow Wilson administration. He has been credited for the term “The New Deal”.

No one, including me, had heard of this gentleman, until Glenn Beck brought him to light a few days ago. The reason why he brought him to light was the new film, the propaganda film, narrated by Tom Hanks, called “The Road we Traveled”.

When I heard of this book by Stuart Chase, I, like Glenn, thought, what a remarkable coincidence that this progressive book and this new film could be so similarly titled.

Over the past few days Glenn Beck has done some research on this progressive, Stuart Chase and has come up with some remarkable similarities between the book, “The Road we are Traveling” and the situation we find ourselves in now.

As Glenn Beck has stated, when Barack Obama said five days before the election in 2008 that he wanted to fundamentally transform America and the world, no one listened. We should have.

As many people say, words mean things. It’s no different for progressives. Words mean things to them also. Progressive’s words are always carefully crafted. We should realize that they do in fact mean what they say and say what they mean. They are not just hollow words nor campaign rhetoric.

Knowing now whom Barack Obama is and the people that he has surrounded himself with are, we must surely take him at his word that he and they wish to change the entire structure of America and the world.

Most of us today would consider this progressive march to be a march toward socialism communism or fascism. Once again we go back to, words mean things.

Stuart Chase was smart enough to realize that, in 1942 no one wanted to hear about socialism or fascism or communism. Instead he called his proposed fundamental transformation, simply “Political System X”. Chase claimed, in his book; once you have enough pieces of the society fundamentally transformed, you will not be able to turn the ship around, as it were. In other words, there will be no turning back to capitalism or the free market.

So now let’s juxtapose what Stuart Chase had in mind and just how far Barack Obama has come.

As we go through this list just keep in mind that Barack Obama and his ilk are not the first to attempt to transform this country. It has been a progressive project for 100 years. These are patient lot.

In his book Chase describes his political system X as the following [Chase’s words will be italicized]: You will need a strong centralized government. I think we can all agree that we have a strong and ever stronger centralized government. I guess we can check that one off.

You will need an Executive arm growing at the expense of the Legislative and Judicial arm. I think we can all agree that this is happening right under our noses. President Obama and his administration appear to be doing whatever they want whether they have the constitutional authority to do so or not, simply brushing aside the legislature as they go. I suppose we can give him a big thumbs up for this one.

You will need to have control of banking, credit and security exchanges by the government. The tarp bailouts pretty much took care of the control of banking issue. As far as credit goes, try getting a student loan or purchasing a house without having the government involved in the financing. Let’s check that one off.

Seems they are doing rather well with their fundamental transformation project so far.

You will need underwriting of employment through armaments or by public works. This sounds a lot like the stimulus package. I guess we’ll check this one off also, at least partially.

You will need underwriting of Social Security by the government, underwriting of food, housing and medical care by the government. Social Security, that’s a given. Underwriting of food is certainly being taken care of with the FDA, the USDA and Michelle Obama with the rest of her food Nazis telling us what we can and can’t eat. And let us not forget the foodstamp program. Housing is certainly being taken care of through Fannie and Freddie and all the other government organizations controlling loans and whatnot. Of course, Obamacare will take care of medical care. That’s check, check, check and check.

The use of deficit spending to finance underwriting is essential. This one is fairly obvious. We’ll give them a big checkmark.

There must be an abandonment of gold in lieu of managed currency. The Fed accomplished this during the Nixon administration in the 1970s. Check that one off.

You will need government control over trade, natural resources, transportation, agricultural production, organize labor unions and youth corps. You will need a youth and people dedicated to the ideology of government authorities. What part of trade doesn’t the government already control? That is of course a rhetorical question. They are certainly busy trying to control natural resources, coal, oil and natural gas; the air we breathe and the water we drink, etc. as far as labor unions are concerned I’m not sure who controls whom? Is it the government that controls labor unions or vice versa. I guess they are actually one in the same. Glenn Beck contends, and I agree, the youth and people dedicated to the ideology of government authority is Occupy Wall Street. They are the youth corps.

Heavy taxation of Estates and incomes of the wealthy is essential. Gee, who has been pushing for that for as long as I’ve been alive? I’d give that a half a checkmark, but it seems they will eventually achieve this.

There must be state control over communications and propaganda. It appears they’re well on their way to achieving this goal. We don’t call them the state-controlled media for nothing. Let’s give them a big checkmark for that.

Well now. Can I get a holy crap?!

I think it might’ve been easier to compile a list of what they haven’t accomplished instead of what they have. I guess the old saying “Ignorance is Bliss” really does apply in this case. Maybe we should all just go back to sleep and allow the government to take complete control of our lives.

By the way, Glenn Beck believes, as do I, that the reason this new propaganda film is titled “The Road We’ve Traveled”, is that these progressives believe that the journey is virtually completed. As I’ve stated before, these progressives choose their words very carefully. They did not choose this title by accident.

I truly hope that Stuart Chase is wrong and that we will be able to turn this ship around, or at least slow it long enough for a majority of our citizens to wake up.

Attribution: I would like to thank Glenn Beck for compiling this list. He and his staff are an invaluable resource.