Saturday, July 9, 2011

“Sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests”

That conclusion drawn from a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education:

Titled, “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature,” the report says the mistreatment of students ranges from sexual comments to rape.

In fact, says the studies author, Carol Shakeshaft, professor of educational administration at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, the scope of the school sex problem appears to far exceed the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

Comparing the incidence of sexual misconduct in schools with the Catholic Church scandal, Shakeshift notes that a study by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops concluded that 10,667 young people were sexually mistreated by priests between 1950 and 2002.

In contrast, the extrapolates from a national survey conducted for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000 that roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a public school employee between 1991 and 2000.

The figures suggest “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests,” said Shakshaft, according to Education Week.

Indeed, more than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarden and 12th grade, says the report.

Coming our way via Mark Shea who snarks:

If only educators could marry! If only women could be teachers!

Coal industry braces for massive layoffs

Liberal blogs and pundits are hugely perplexed at the horrible job numbers recently. They just can't figure it out. They blame businesses for trying to sabotage Obama. They blame Republicans for not letting them spend trillions more in stim money. They blame the American people for voting for the GOP in the first place.

Maybe they should look in a mirror:

The coal industry is crying foul over new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations which they say will be among the most be costly rules ever imposed by the agency on coal-fueled power plants.

The result, industry insiders say: substantially higher electricity rates and massive job loss.

"The EPA is ignoring the cumulative economic damage new regulations will cause," said Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). "America's coal-fueled electric industry has been doing its part for the environment and the economy, but our industry needs adequate time to install clean coal technologies to comply with new regulations. Unfortunately, EPA doesn't seem to care."

Thursday the EPA announced that they have finalized additional Clean Air Act provisions, collectively known as "The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule" to ostensibly "reduce air pollution and attain clean air standards," by requiring coal companies in 27 states to slash emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by 73 percent and 54 percent, respectively, from 2005 levels by 2014.

Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. Upton:

"The goal for these rules should be reasonable regulation that protects public health and the environment while also preserving economic growth. Unfortunately, the unprecedented pace at which the administration is issuing major new rules that impose new costs and regulatory requirements on states, employers, and consumers fails that basic test," said Upton. "By issuing multiple regulations for the energy and other sectors at such an accelerated rate, EPA has turned regulation from a manageable tool into an unpredictable moving target that makes it difficult for companies to invest and create jobs."

The administration has the same problem with CAFE standards for auto mileage - too much, too soon, with little regard for the economic impact on the industry. What is truly pathetic is that the liberals have no concept of how their feel good environmental policies contribute to the miserable job numbers for which they are desperately looking for someone to blame.

Obama Orders Launched Fast And Furious


Project Gun Runner (Fast and Furious) was launched under the orders of President Barack Obama with the knowledge of Attorney General Eric Holder. Deputy Attorney General David Ogden announced the Obama Administration's new and aggressive 'comprehensive plan' on March, 24, 2009. The plan was aimed at disrupting gun trafficking between the United States and Mexico.

Full C-SPAN Video Link 3-24-2009

Fair Use: This video has been posted for educational non-profit purposes only.

Tech at Night: Net Neutrality D-Day approaches, Communist-style PROTECT IP,

Net Neutrality rules have become one step closer to official as the FCC finally delivered something to the OMB after months of stalling. Verizon, MetroPCS, Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli, and others ended up unable sue to throw out the illegal power grab until it’s published, so the longer the FCC waited, the longer everyone else had to wait to begin to defeat rules that will harm innovation, investment, and jobs, say Fred Upton and Greg Walden.

It’ll be 90 more days at least before the rules hit the Federal Register and the rush to the courthouse begins.

Meanwhile the FCC’s bad run in the courts continues as it lost another case. Of course, this was actually a Bush-era rule, being thrown out on a technicality. But the Obama FCC continued its defense, and lost.

Even as pressure mounts to create a national censorship blacklist online via PROTECT IP, requiring ISPs to censor content according to bureaucratic dictates, much like the People’s Republic of China, Some ISPs and media groups have made their own plan of voluntary enforcement.

Some say you’re just like soft-on-terror radical left if you oppose PROTECT IP. I vehemently disagree. I believe in limited government. In fact, I insist on limited government. A power grab in the pursuit of good is still a power grab. I think a joint industry plan, protecting copyright holders, ISPs, and their customers, is a much better idea, though the details of this specific plan announced yesterday will need further study and refinement, I’m sure.

I’m going to go ahead and come out early for Marsha Blackburn needs her own sub/committee chair when our current guys term out. Technology, Oversight, Regulation, any of those fields. She’s dynamite on these issues.

La Raza Group Teams Up With Feds To Push Govt. Aid In Spanish

President Obama’s favorite La Raza group has teamed up with a federal agency to promote one of the administration’s many government cash giveaways with Spanish ads encouraging Latinos—possibly illegal immigrants—to apply for free U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The new campaign warns Hispanics that time is running out to get up to “$50,000 in help” from Uncle Sam to pay their mortgage, past due charges, taxes, insurance and even legal fees associated with their home. The money is being disbursed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of a billion-dollar Emergency Homeowner Loan Program (EHLP).

In 2008 the agency revealed that some 5 million fraudulent or defaulted home mortgages were in the hands of illegal immigrants, who obtained the loans from banks that were pressured by the government to offer them. In fact, the agency in charge of preserving and promoting public confidence in the nation’s financial system, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), began pushing banks to offer services to illegal aliens years earlier and many still do today.

It’s logical to assume that the involvement of the nation’s most powerful open borders group, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), in promoting government-funded mortgage aid is geared, at least in part, towards undocumented immigrants. The EHLP expired but recently got extended amid record-high unemployment to help people keep their homes. The NCLR, which has seen its federal funding skyrocket since one of its top officials got a job in Obama’s White House, wants to make sure Latinos get a piece of the pie. This week it launched a Spanish-language public service campaign to highlight the program’s “fast-approaching” deadline.

“The biggest challenge now is ensuring that people know about this opportunity and take advantage of it during the short period that it is available,” according to the NCLR director who announced the campaign that will help Latinos “seize” an “opportunity.” In the ad HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Marquez alerts Hispanics of the imminent deadline to get their government cash and directs them to a Spanish HUD website that assures the money will be disbursed in a “fair and impartial manner.”

Last year Marquez , a strong ally of the open borders movement, awarded an NCLR affiliate known as Chicanos Por la Causa nearly $40 million in grants to “stabilize neighborhoods and rebuild economies.” The money came from a Neighborhood Stabilization Program that has doled out $2 billion to community groups to combat the negative effects of “vacant and abandoned homes.”

Just a few weeks ago a Judicial Watch investigation revealed that federal funding for the NCLR, which for years has raked in millions of taxpayer dollars, has catapulted since Obama hired its senior vice president (Cecilia Muñoz) to be his director of intergovernmental affairs. In fact, the government cash more than doubled the year Muñoz joined the White House, from $4.1 million to $11 million. Additionally, NCLR affiliates nationwide raked in tens of millions of government grant and recovery dollars last year thanks to the Muñoz factor.

Real Unemployment Rises to 16.2% in June -- 25.3 Million People

( – The real unemployment rate rose to 16.2 percent in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Friday, marking a return to levels not seen since January 2011.

The “real” unemployment rate is technically a combination of three measures of unemployment: the unemployment rate, the number of people working part-time who want full-time work, and the number of people “marginally attached” to the workforce.

Those who have left the workforce but would still like to be employed are considered marginally attached.

This figure is considered a more complete measure of unemployment because it captures a broader spectrum of those affected by the weak economy. Merely counting those who apply for unemployment benefits as “unemployed” does not fully account for everyone who is out of work or underemployed.

This real unemployment rate – known as the U6 rate – has been climbing since February 2011 when it was at 15.9 percent. Real unemployment peaked in October of 2009 at 17.4 percent, before falling into the 16 percent range for much of 2010.

It now appears that the real unemployment rate is returning to its 2010 levels, trending upward after staying slightly below 16 percent from February to May.

The total number of people who were truly unemployed in June was 25.3 million -- the 14.1 million who were unemployed, the 2.7 million who were marginally attached to the workforce and the 8.6 million who were underemployed.

Obama and Holder's Stimulation of Murder

Scandal: The ATF's gun-running disaster was funded in the stimulus bill. Think about all the criminal and drug cartel jobs saved or created. And our attorney general once bragged to a Mexican audience about implementing it.

This could be, no pun intended, the proverbial smoking gun in a growing administration scandal that deserves as much mainstream media attention as Iran-Contra or Watergate.

Right there in the stimulus bill that no one in Congress bothered to read is $10 million for Project Gunrunner (aka Operation Fast and Furious), which resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and increased drug cartel violence.

Right there in the "shovel ready" stimulus, no black humor intended, is a provision for $40 million for "state and local law enforcement assistance" along our border with Mexico and in high drug-trafficking areas, "of which $10 million shall be transferred to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, salaries and expenses for the ATF Project Gunrunner."

Attorney General Eric Holder's "I know nothing" imitation of TV's Sgt. Schultz has evaporated with the discovery of an April 2, 2009, speech to authorities in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in which he took Gunrunner credit for himself and the rest of the Obama administration.

Holder told the audience: "Last week, our administration launched a major new effort to break the backs of the cartels. My department is committing 100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement our ongoing Project Gunrunner. DEA is adding 16 new positions on the border, as well as mobile enforcement teams, and the FBI is creating a new intelligence group focusing on kidnapping and extortion."

So which administration official put the Gunrunner money in the stimulus? Which congressman insisted on this deadliest of earmarks?

The original Southwest Border Violence Reduction Act of 2009 was sponsored by Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, D-Texas. Rodriguez's co-sponsors were two other Texans, Henry Cuellar and Silvestre Reyes, plus Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Harry Teague, D-N.M.

Holder is clearly not telling the truth about his role in Gunrunner. He knew about it, boasted of it and took credit for it. Now he's orchestrating a cover-up of it. President Obama needs to man up about Gunrunner and either take responsibility for this tragedy or admit, under oath if need be, that even he didn't know what was in the stimulus bill.

During an interview with a Univision reporter that aired in March, Obama said he was "absolutely not" informed about the ATF program that deliberately funneled guns into Mexico. "I did not authorize it," he said. "Eric Holder, the attorney general, did not authorize it. He's been very clear that our policy is to catch gunrunners and put them into jail."

Clearly somebody is lying here. At a House oversight hearing last month, three federal firearms investigators testified they wanted to "intervene and interdict" the guns at the border, but were repeatedly ordered to step aside and let the traffickers proceed.

Acting ATF Director Kenneth Melson, in closed-door testimony in front of Rep. Darrell Issa's committee, said administration officials sought to control and limit his communications with Congress, including withholding documents that made Melson "sick to his stomach" after he reviewed them.

On Dec. 14, Terry was fatally shot in the Arizona desert while patrolling one of the region's most dangerous drug- and human-smuggling corridors. He was shot in the back with an AK-47 assault rifle. Two weapons that were allowed to cross the border as part of Project Gunrunner were found at the scene.

The evidence suggests that Agent Terry's death was financed by the president's stimulus package with the full knowledge and support of Attorney General Holder.

It makes us sick to our stomachs too.

Internet providers to act against online pirates

(Reuters) - Consumers who illegally download copyrighted films, music or television shows might see their Internet speed slowed or access restricted under an industry anti-piracy effort announced on Thursday.

U.S. Internet service providers, including Verizon Communications Inc, Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc, Cablevision Systems Corp and AT&T Inc agreed to alert customers, up to six times, when it appears their account is used for illegal downloading. Warnings will come as e-mails or pop-up messages.

If suspected illegal activity persists, the provider might temporarily slow Internet speed or redirect the browser to a specific Web page until the customer contacts the company. The user can seek an independent review of whether they acted legally.

Internet access will not be terminated, according to a statement from the industry partners behind the effort. The coalition includes groups representing movie studios, independent film makers and record labels.

The group argues that content piracy costs the U.S. economy more than 373,000 jobs, $16 billion in lost earnings and $3 billion in tax revenue each year.

Industry officials said they thought most people would stop copyright violations once they were warned about illegal activity. The warnings also might alert parents unaware of their children's activity.

"We are confident that, once informed that content theft is taking place on their accounts, the great majority of broadband subscribers will take steps to stop it," James Assey, executive vice president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, said in a statement.

Two consumer groups said the effort had the "potential to be an important educational vehicle" to help reduce online copyright infringement, but voiced concern about the sanctions.

"We are particularly disappointed that the agreement lists Internet account suspension among the possible remedies," the Center for Democracy & Technology and Public Knowledge said in a statement.

The groups said it would be "wrong for any (Internet service provider) to cut off subscribers, even temporarily, based on allegations that have not been tested in court."

The Obama administration welcomed the industry effort.

"We believe it will have a significant impact on reducing online piracy," Victoria Espinel, the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator, wrote on the White House blog.

The administration expects the organization that implements the program to consult with advocacy groups "to assure that its practices are fully consistent with the democratic values that have helped the Internet to flourish," she added.

(Editing by Andre Grenon)

Deficit Streak Hits Record 33rd Straight Month

The federal government notched its 33rd straight month in the red in June, extending its record deficit streak to three times the previous low-water mark, according to preliminary estimates Friday from the Congressional Budget Office.

But lower spending, thanks in large part to less money going to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, shrank the deficit to just $45 billion in June — down from $68 billion last year.

And with three months to go still in fiscal year 2011, the government has racked up $973 billion in total deficits, a pace which is slightly better than 2010, when the government had just crossed the $1 trillion mark at this point.

The figures come as lawmakers are trying to hash out a deal on long-term reduction to the country’s skyrocketing debt.

CBO analysts said interest on the debt accounts for an ever-increasing share of spending: $31 billion in June alone, and $202 billion for the first nine months of the fiscal year, which is 18 percent higher than 2010.

The government has run a deficit for 33 straight months, dating back to October 2008, when then-President George W. Bush and Congress began to grapple with the financial crisis.

That’s the longest streak since the Treasury Department began keeping records in 1980.

CBO said the payroll tax cut Congress and President Obama agreed to last year is biting into revenue, which accounts for part of the slight drop in government income last month, compared to 2010.

Overall, though, income tax collections are up 24 percent, and total tax collections are up 8.5 percent higher in 2011 compared to last year, signaling that economic growth is helping the government’s bottom line somewhat.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

REPORT: Auto bailout chief: 'I did this all for the unions'

Investigators for the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform are asking the White House official who oversaw the government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler whether he told the truth in recent testimony before the committee. Ron Bloom, Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy, is quoted in a 2009 newspaper account and a 2010 book saying of the auto bailouts that he "did this all for the unions." But when Bloom appeared before the committee on June 22, he flatly denied ever saying those words. Other White House officials have reportedly defended Bloom by suggesting that he did indeed say those words but was joking. And that has led committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa to ask what is going on.

On November 24, 2009, Detroit News reporter David Shepardson wrote about a dinner held at Washington's Rosa Mexicano restaurant in July of that year, after GM had come out of bankruptcy. Both Bloom and Steven Rattner, the Wall Street figure who played a key role in the bailouts, spoke to the group. "Rattner praised the team's intensity and focus and said the group was among the best he had ever worked with," Shepardson reported. "Bloom, the former adviser to the United Steelworkers, joked that he 'did this all for the unions.'" (The article is not available on the paper's website, but here is a copy of it on a United Auto Workers site.)

In September 2010, Rattner published a book entitled Overhaul: An Insider's Account of the Obama Administration's Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry. He also described the dinner at Rosa Mexicano:

Such celebrations, I reminded my colleagues, are standard on Wall Street at the successful close of a deal. But in those victories, the objective is private gain. This victory was different. I choked up as I spoke about our commitment to quality. "I've worked with a lot of talented people in my life but never with a group smarter or more dedicated than Team Auto," I said. And I thanked my colleagues for the enormous sacrifices that each had made. "In this deal, in this incarnation," I said, "you have epitomized what it means to serve your country."

Fortunately, after I spoke, Ron Bloom was there to lighten the mood. "I did this all for the unions," he jokingly declared. Everyone laughed and the war stories began to fly…

The only difference between the two accounts is that Rattner says Bloom made the statement "jokingly." Readers can judge for themselves whether it was the kind of joke that is also true. But in any event, Rattner says Bloom was joking.

Fast forward to June 22. During Bloom's appearance before the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, Republican Rep. Dan Burton asked Bloom about the dinner:

Rep. Burton: Well, did you say this at a dinner? There was a dinner and it was reported by David Shepardson, Washington correspondent for the Detroit News. At a farewell dinner of the Auto Task Force held in the restaurant Rosa Mexicano in late July 2009 that you allegedly said "I did this all for the unions."

Mr. Bloom: No I did not say that.

Rep. Burton: You didn't say that?

Mr. Bloom: No sir.

Rep. Burton: So, you were misquoted?

Mr. Bloom: That's correct.

Rep. Burton: Well, I'm going to call that guy up and ask him if you said that. You know that you are under oath here?

Mr. Bloom: I'm fully aware.

Rep. Burton: You made no comment like that at all?

Mr. Bloom: No sir.

So now the question is: Did Bloom say it, not say it, or did he say it and it was a joke? Bloom says he didn't say it. But ABC News reports that a White House source is referring reporters to Rattner's book, adding that Rattner "clearly writes that Bloom made the comment as a joke."

That has Republicans on Capitol Hill confused. "Bloom is denying having said it in the first place, but the White House is saying it's just a joke," says a Hill source. "Well, you can't have it both ways."

Now Issa has written a letter to Bloom, giving him "an opportunity to clarify" his testimony to the committee. "Despite your five denials, two independent sources documented you saying these words," Issa wrote. "It appears that either a respected reporter and your former boss in the Obama administration have both given inaccurate accounts of your comments to the public, or your testimony was not completely truthful. Therefore, if you would like to amend or clarify your testimony for the record, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible."

Hill sources are not making any threats; they say simply that they are going to wait for Bloom's response and then see what comes next. But there's no doubt that want to know what was really said at that dinner celebrating the auto bailouts.

Former federal employees still receiving taxpayer credit cards

In what appears to be a gross Obama administration oversight, former Bush administration political officials are still receiving taxpayer-funded credit cards in the mail.

At this point, as far as The Daily Caller has been able to confirm, it’s only happening with former Department of Labor (DOL) employees.

Former DOL official Don Todd, who used to oversee the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) told TheDC that on Thursday, the government sent him a ready-to-activate taxpayer-funded credit card.

Todd, who now works in the private sector at nonprofit Americans for Limited Government (ALG), destroyed the card, but he’s shocked at how he still got one in the mail, years after he left his politically appointed government post. Todd’s last day at the DOL was Jan. 20, 2009. He turned in all government credit cards and other official items at that time, but the DOL is still sending him credit cards.

Jokingly, Todd told TheDC that this oversight reminds him of former President Ronald Reagan’s comments about how a government bureau is the “nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.”

“A government job is a gift that keeps on giving,” Todd joked.

On a more serious note, Todd worries about how these Obama administration oversights may play out if some people who receive credit cards aren’t as honest as he was. “This is a microcosm of the total disregard this administration has for taxpayer dollars and who gets government credit cards,” Todd said. “It’s stunning that they can’t keep track of who gets government credit cards and access to taxpayer money.”

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Chairman Rep. Denny Rehberg, Montana Republican, told TheDC he’s not pleased that the DOL is sending credit cards to former government employees.

“While we’ve been fighting so hard to cut up the government’s credit card and restore fiscal responsibility, the Department of Labor has been sending new government credit cards to former government employees,” Rehberg said in an email. “It’s no wonder the American public is so fed up with Washington waste. Maybe this is what the Labor Department should be talking about when they’re pushing for Card Check.”

At least one other former and more senior Bush administration political appointee at the Labor Department confirmed for TheDC that he too had also received a credit card in the mail since Obama took office. He said he cut it up immediately after receiving it six months ago, more than two years after he left his government post. The official wished to remain anonymous so as to avoid having anyone get in trouble.

A spokesperson for the DOL didn’t return TheDC’s request for comment.

Obama’s assault on the rule of law

Quoting the Constitution seems a joke with administration’s sorry record

When Timothy F. Geithner whipped out his pocket Constitution in May to address the debt-ceiling issue, the rivers in Hades must have been packed with ice-skaters.

Consult the Constitution? The Treasury secretary appeared to be out of order in an administration whose standard operating procedure is flouting the rule of law. Of course, even the devil can quote Scripture.

On Wednesday, President Obama was asked at the Twitter news conference whether he could raise the debt ceiling by invoking the 14th Amendment’s Section 4, which says in part:

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

The point of this passage was to clean up the Civil War’s fiscal mess, not to let a future profligate president off the hook. But liberals are suggesting it could be used precisely for that.

Standing seemingly above the clatter, Mr. Obama twittered:

“I don’t think we should even get to the constitutional issue. Congress has a responsibility to make sure we pay our bills. We’ve always paid them in the past. The notion that the United States would default on its debt is just irresponsible.”

Sounds good, but we don’t have to default. We can pay our debtors first and then whack away at spending. But while we’re on the topic, let’s recap the ways the Obama administration has exemplified irresponsibility and thumbed its nose at the rule of law.

First, the spending. If nothing is done to cut Mr. Obama’s Visa card in half, the total U.S. debt, now at $14.3 trillion, will rise to $20 trillion by 2020. As Peter Ferrara notes in his new book, “America’s Ticking Bankruptcy Bomb,” “more debt will be run up in one term under President Obama than under all the presidents in history - from George Washington to George W. Bush - combined.”

Here’s more, in no particular order:

Forcing people to buy health insurance. The most famous requirement in the 2,700-page Obamacare law goes beyond any previous federal claim to regulate commercial activity and extends it to merely being a living, breathing human being. Mr. Obama sold the law by saying it does not constitute a tax, and then his attorneys claimed in court that it is constitutional precisely because it is a new tax.

Launching a war in Libya.Under the War Powers Act, Mr. Obama had 60 days to get congressional approval after the bombs started dropping in Tripoli, but he didn’t bother.

Refusing to enforce the federal Defense of Marriage Act. DOMA defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman for all federal purposes and allows states to reject unions that don’t comport with their marriage laws. Mr. Obama, who pretends to support marriage even while doing everything possible to destroy it, is bound by oath to enforce the law, not eviscerate it. Even the liberal San Francisco Chronicle marveled at the Obamanistas’ audacity:

“The latest San Francisco court filing on same-sex marriage reads like a gay rights manifesto: It rejects tradition, morals and procreation as justifications for marriage restrictions and concludes that a federal ban on spousal benefits was unconstitutionally based on ‘animus’ - dislike, rooted in prejudice - toward gays and lesbians. The brief comes not from Lambda Legal or the American Civil Liberties Union but the Obama administration’s Justice Department.”

Does anyone really believe that marriage as created by God is protected in the law solely to marginalize homosexuals?

Goosing the nation’s armed forces. Wielding a spectacularly misleading survey, Mr. Obama and his cronies are on the verge of homosexualizing the military despite failing to make the case that this won’t hurt readiness, morale, retention or recruitment.

Injecting race into the Voting Rights Act. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. declined to prosecute New Black Panther Party members caught on video openly intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. Two former Justice Department employees testified that Voting Section employees were told they shouldn’t enforce portions of the law if the complainants are white.

Using the EPA to enforce a radical environmental ag-enda. In 2008, the Senate voted against the “cap-and-trade” bill that would have created a carbon-tax system and vast federal power to interfere in the energy market. So the Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide a pollutant and has embarked on a massive scheme to impose cap-and-trade through bureaucratic power. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s green fascists have virtually shut down new oil exploration and drilling.

Allowing the FCC to grab the Internet. Congress and a federal appeals court specifically rejected the Federal Communications Commission’s claim to have regulatory authority over the Internet. Yet the FCC released “net neutrality” rules in December 2010 and on July 1 issued “guidelines” for implementing them. The FCC has no more authority over the Internet than it does over your local movie theater or coin laundry.

Attacking a state for upholding federal law. In July 2010, the Justice Department sued Arizona for enacting a statute that requires local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws. Meanwhile, the Justice Department continues to ignore “sanctuary cities” that openly violate federal law.

Giving a foreign leader a platform to denounce an American state. In May 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon addressed Congress, where he blasted Arizona’s immigration policy to cheers from mostly Democrats. Later, Mr. Obama joined him at a White House press conference where both men trashed Arizona.

Using the National Labor Relations Board as a goon squad. The NLRB sued in April 2010 to stop the Boeing Co.’s new $750 million Dreamliner plant in right-to-work South Carolina because unions in Washington state objected. Nowhere in the Constitution does the federal government have the right to tell businesses where they can operate. This kind of thuggishness happens under communist five-year plans, not in America.

There’s much more, as Washington’s extralegal reach grows daily. Mr. Geithner’s pocket Constitution would make a nice bookmark for the Federal Register’s thousands of new pages. It probably won’t be used for much more than that.

As the late Joseph Sobran quipped, “The Constitution poses no threat to our form of government.”

That is, unless We the People begin to apply it to hold the Obama administration and its toadies accountable for unleashing legal and fiscal anarchy on our country.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Ten Black Americans Who Denounced America

Sometimes if you love your country, you have to let it go, especially if that country is oppressing your people. Not all Black Americans have had the everlasting faith in America that President Barack Obama has. Several Black figures have either denounced or just plain left America.

10. W.E.B. Du Bois

Du Bois contributed greatly to the struggle of African-Americans through his writings and activism. Du Bois helped form the NAACP and was perhaps the most prominent African-American intellectual of the 20th century. Du Bois became a communist during the height of the Cold War. He was investigated by the FBI for his so-called socialist views. Du Bois died a Ghanaian citizen, after the U.S. refused his passport.

9. Jeremiah Wright

While Fox News may have painted Wright as an America-hating madman, Wright was just judging the U.S. with the same Christian principles that he lived by. Wright was a Marine who served in Vietnam, risking his life for the country he would be condemned for criticizing. A close view of Wright’s controversial sermon shows that did not hate America, but expected America to live up to its Christian values and leave unjust wars.

8. Boots Riley (The Coup)

Riley is an anti-imperialist and a Marxist, which puts him in direct opposition to American policies. In 2001 his group, The Coup, had an album cover with the World Trade Center blowing up and Boots pushing a button on a guitar, a few months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

7. Assata Shakur

Assata Shakur, is a Black Panther who was charged with convicted for killing a police officer, though many have cast doubt on her conviction. Asata with the help of rapper Tupac’s stepfather, Mutulu Shakur, escaped from prison and found political asylum in Cuba, a country hated by the United States.

6. Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson was an actor, singer, football player, lawyer and scholar. He was also a civil rights activist and labeled a communist. Robeson, like Du Bois had his passport taken away in 1950, for fear he would tell the world about how Black people were oppressed in America. In 1951 he charged the U.S.A. with genocide for turning a blind eye at African-Americans being lynched. Though Robeson traveled to Russia, won the Stalin Prize For Freedom, and even wrote a song for Stalin, he remained an American citizen his whole life.

5. Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Ture

Stokely Carmichael was a major figure in both the civil rights and Black Power movements, as the head of SNCC and the Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party, helping coin the phrase “Black Power.” He eventually split with the Black Panther party and moved to Guinea in Africa where he married South African activist and singer, Miriam Makeba, changing his name to Kwame Ture.

4. Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker moved to France after being a dancer in Harlem to escape racism in the USA after a successful tour of Europe. Baker helped the French rebel against the Nazis. While in France, Baker supported the Civil Rights Movement, and was the only woman to speak at the historic March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. at her side.

3. Martin Luther King Jr.

Though Martin Luther King Jr. said his dream was deeply rooted in the American dream, and would frequently site the Constitution and the Declaration Of Independence to further civil rights, he condemned America over the war in Vietnam.

God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, ‘You’re too arrogant! And if you don’t change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I’ll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn’t even know my name. Be still and know that I’m God.’”

2. Marcus Garvey

Although Marcus Garvey was born in Jamaica, he came into prominence after moving to America in 1916, where he would start the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and the Back To Africa movement. Garvey raised money to repopulate Liberia but was charged by J. Edgar Hoover, with mail fraud and later deported.

1. Malcolm X

Malcolm X, like Marcus Garvey advocated for the complete separation of African-Americans from America, establishing their own country. Malcolm famously criticized U.S. foreign and domestic policy after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, saying it was a case of “the chickens coming home to roost.” Malcolm made plans to charge the USA with violating the rights of African-Americans before he died.

Day Labor Line Still Growing

In Salt Lake City, Utah there is a Home Depot on the corner of 2100 South Street and 300 West Street. The store is in an excellent location right next to Interstate 15. And on the east side of the Home Depot is an employment line. This employment line is the type of line that everybody knows about, but nobody talks about.

It is a line full of mostly Hispanic, with a few others mixed in, day laborers. Now mind you yes I did just "racially profile." But not to digress, I will explain this later. If these men had permanent jobs of the legal type, do you think they would be standing out by this Home Depot waiting for a pick up to the job site? Probably not.

Now, why did I mention Hispanic men earlier? Because that is their ethnicity most likely! They are probably from Mexico and Central America, where most illegal aliens come from. And they wait for their under the table employers to come and pick them up. It is summer and so the line is there well into the afternoon, even in the hot sun as the laborers wait to be picked up.

This Home Depot is an excellent place. Contractors come and get their supplies, wood, plumbing, glue, nails, power tools etc. and their labor. All at one convenient big box stop. Not too shabby right? Wrong! Now why is this day labor line allowed to exist. Because it is made up of Carnival workers waiting for their next show? No. It is because these people are most likely in the USA illegally and they have employers that don't want to have to pay American wages and deal with paying US, state, and local taxes.

And what do these Hispanics and others have to lose? Nothing. They get more in under the table jobs than they could earn in their home countries in one day. And this is a bad US economy. Meanwhile there are legitimate men and women looking for an honest days work for an honest days pay who do not have access to these black market jobs. I wonder if a bunch of gringos were in this line, would they get picked up by the bosses? Probably not. Americans and legals need real wages, not $5 per hour for heavy construction labor.

Now the reason I bring this up is this is one example as I have before, it that illegal immigration to a degree begins at home. When Americans want illegal aliens who are largely poor and under educated show up for work, you don't have to pay them a real skilled worker job. And the illegals are here just trying to support their families. But often it is also on food stamps, Medicaid, and other social welfare programs.

What does this day labor line have in common with the US border with Mexico? Everything you can associate with illegal immigration. Open borders are bad for both nations. With immigrants pouring over the border like ants to a picnic feast, and Mexico in turmoil who can blame them. But with the influx of illegal immigrants going into out job market, competing with out of work Americans and legal residents, for jobs it muddies the job market.

With that also comes the strain on education, social, and economic systems that are already beaten up. Criminals need work and a market to work in. Love those Americanos. They are willing to buy pot, heroin, and yes human cargo also. Mess with them and sometimes just go missing. Many criminals are garden variety rapists, murderers, thieves, burglars and wife beaters. They are taken off our streets and put in our jails.

Just don't make them face true justice or the Mexican government will get angry. All these elements come together. To control the problems created what do we as US Citizens demand? We close the damn border with Mexico.

How do we do this? Border Patrol allowed to do their jobs. National guard who are actually allowed to patrol and shoot. Aerial drones to spot and report on remote areas. Fencing where appropriate and feasible, heavy, reinforced, and guarded.

The 10s of millions of illegals in the nation already cannot be dealt with until the leak in the border is slowed to a trickle. Those who hire and help illegals knowingly get jobs need to face stiff fines and punishment. The bring a market for Coyotes and drug runners to smuggle illegals into the United States. Others who want to cause harm such as terrorism to Americans have that back door wide open. We need to shrink our problem with the US border and maybe the day labor lines for illegal workers and their employers will be shrunk or eliminated.

So where is your local day labor line full of illegals? There is one probably near you or your local big box hardware store.


Obama’s Catch-2012

It's official!

The only way for Obama to stimulate the enormous private sector job growth needed to ensure Obama’s reelection is for Obama to announce he is not running for reelection, which would unleash a wave of investment and economic activity not seen since the Great Depression.

US Taxpayers Just Paid $780 Million To Fund The Latest Greece Bailout Tranche

The IMF is delighted to announce that it just approved a €3.2 billion disbursement of cash for Greece, its fifth, as part of the €12 billion in money that Greece needs in order to continue operating in the months f July and August. And just for what purpose will this money be used, one may ask? Well, as explained a few weeks ago, in Greek Math: €12 Billion In, €18.2 Billion Out the entire amount will be promptly recycled by global financial institutions in the form of debt maturities and interest payments, which amount to €18.2 billion in the months of July and August. Simply said ECB, EU and IMF money in, money owed to bankers out. The kicker: 17.09% of the money coming from the IMF, comes from, that's right dear US taxpayer, you (and since 21% of the quota contributions allocated to the IMF are deemed "non-usable", the actual number funded by the US is likely much higher). But this plot has a bonus kicker: as we reported on Wednesday, the actual Greek debt is no longer owed by European banks to the extent it had been previously expected: a development that threatens to scuttle the entire second Greek bailout plan as currently proposed. So as the banks have been selling Greek debt, who has been buying? Mostly hedge funds, such as everyone's favorite John Paulson. So to recap: US taxpayers have just paid out about $780 million of the $4.6 billion in order to fund interest owed to... hedge funds.

The WSJ provides a pretty chart explaining who is responsible for what:

And more:

Counting all IMF funding sources, the 15 euro-zone nations would be responsible for a substantially larger stake in the institution's Greek bailout than the U.S. European contributions to the IMF loan, of course, will in turn be dwarfed by euro-zone countries' far larger exposure through the European bailout.

To make its loan, the IMF will borrow from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the other central banks it taps and pay them interest of about 0.25% on the money; the IMF will then charge Greece about 3% on the loan.

Will the money be wasted? That depends on whether the Greek electorate swallows the cuts in salary and pensions required by the IMF and the country's European partners and whether a new economic strategy boosts Greece's competitive position.

The IMF is always at the top of any list to be repaid because its blessing is crucial for any country to be able to borrow internationally. If there were to be any losses on Greek loans, IMF policy is to absorb them rather than passing them on to members.

So that's the truth. And here is the party line, from Reuters:

In announcing the payment, part of a 110 billion euro IMF-European Union bailout package crafted for Greece last year, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde pointed to progress being made by debt-laden Greece, though noting that more work remains.

"The program is delivering important results: the fiscal deficit is being reduced, the economy is rebalancing, and competitiveness is gradually improving," Lagarde said in a statement.

"However, with many important structural reforms still to be implemented, significant policy challenges remain. A durable fiscal adjustment is needed, lest the deficit get entrenched at an unsustainably high level, and productivity-enhancing reforms should be accelerated, lest growth fail to recover," she said.

The IMF has warned that the crisis in Greece could reach countries like the United States through money market funds, especially if the contagion spreads to European banks heavily exposed to Greek debt.

The global lender scheduled its meeting to consider the fifth loan disbursement for Greece after euro zone leaders agreed on Saturday to release their portion of the 12 billion euros due to be paid to Athens from the initial bailout.

Lagarde said Greek authorities had made progress in the fiscal area by identifying measures required to reduce the general government deficit to less than 3 percent of gross domestic product by 2014.

She also lauded the government's privatization strategy and noted that while the plan to sell 50 billion euros of state assets by 2015 is "very ambitious, the establishment of an independent privatization agency should help realize transparent and timely implementation."

Still, more work needs to be done, Lagarde said.

"To strengthen Greece's competitiveness, structural reform implementation needs to be accelerated. This will help achieve synergies, such as between privatization and reducing administrative barriers to investment. The reform agenda should be expanded to address Greece's high labor tax wedge and inefficient judicial system," Lagarde added.

Incidentally, while not a minute was spared to sequester and prosecute DSK, today, for the second time, the French Republican Court of "Justice" decided to once again delay its probe into her alleged money laundering affair with Bernard Tapie.

Hedge funds around the world salute the decision, which will simply allow more taxpayer money to be reallocated into their various Cayman Island petty cash accounts.

The 81% Tax Increase

To pay for government's promises on Social Security and Medicare.

This week, the federal government published two important reports on long-term budgetary trends. They both show that we are on an unsustainable path that will almost certainly result in massively higher taxes.

The first report is from the trustees of the Social Security system. News reports emphasized that the date when its trust fund will be exhausted is now four years earlier than estimated last year. But in truth, this is an utterly meaningless fact because the trust fund itself is economically meaningless.

The 2010 budget, which was finally released this week, confirms this fact. As it explains in Chapter 21, government trust funds bear no meaningful comparison to those in the private sector. Whereas the beneficiary of a private trust fund legally owns the income from it, the same is not true of a government trust fund, which is really nothing but an accounting device.

Most Americans believe that the Social Security trust fund contains a pot of money that is sitting somewhere earning interest to pay their benefits when they retire. On paper this is true; somewhere in a Treasury Department ledger there are $2.4 trillion worth of assets labeled "Social Security trust fund."

The problem is that by law 100% of these "assets" are invested in Treasury securities. Therefore, the trust fund does not have any actual resources with which to pay Social Security benefits. It's as if you wrote an IOU to yourself; no matter how large the IOU is it doesn't increase your net worth.

This fact is documented in the budget, which says on page 345: "The existence of large trust fund balances … does not, by itself, increase the government's ability to pay benefits. Put differently, these trust fund balances are assets of the program agencies and corresponding liabilities of the Treasury, netting to zero for the government as a whole."

Consequently, whether there is $2.4 trillion in the Social Security trust fund or $240 trillion has no bearing on the federal government's ability to pay benefits that have been promised. In a very technical sense, it would lose the ability to pay benefits in excess of current tax revenues once the trust fund is exhausted. But long before that date Congress would simply change the law to explicitly allow general revenues to be used to pay Social Security benefits, something it could easily do in a day.

The trust fund is better thought of as budget authority giving the federal government legal permission to use general revenues to pay Social Security benefits when current Social Security taxes are insufficient to pay current benefits--something that will happen in 2016. Effectively, general revenues will finance Social Security when the trust fund redeems its Treasury bonds for cash to pay benefits.

What really matters is not how much money is in the Social Security trust fund or when it is exhausted, but how much Social Security benefits have been promised and how much total revenue the government will need to pay them.

The answer to this question can be found on page 63 of the trustees report. It says that the payroll tax rate would have to rise 1.9% immediately and permanently to pay all the benefits that have been promised over the next 75 years for Social Security and disability insurance.

But this really understates the problem because there are many people alive today who will be drawing Social Security benefits more than 75 years from now. Economists generally believe that the appropriate way of calculating the program's long-term cost is to do so in perpetuity, adjusted for the rate of interest, something called discounting or present value.

Social Security's actuaries make such a calculation on page 64. It says that Social Security's unfunded liability in perpetuity is $17.5 trillion (treating the trust fund as meaningless). The program would need that much money today in a real trust fund outside the government earning a true return to pay for all the benefits that have been promised over and above future Social Security taxes. In effect, the capital stock of the nation would have to be $17.5 trillion larger than it is right now. Alternatively, the payroll tax rate would have to rise by 4%.

To put it another way, Social Security's unfunded liability equals 1.3% of the gross domestic product. So if we were to fund its deficit with general revenues, income taxes would have to rise by 1.3% of GDP immediately and forever. With the personal income tax raising about 10% of GDP in coming years, according to the Congressional Budget Office, this means that every taxpayer would have to pay 13% more just to make sure that all Social Security benefits currently promised will be paid.

As bad as that is, however, Social Security's problems are trivial compared to Medicare's. Its trustees also issued a report this week. On page 69 we see that just part A of that program, which pays for hospital care, has an unfunded liability of $36.4 trillion in perpetuity. The payroll tax rate would have to rise by 6.5% immediately to cover that shortfall or 2.8% of GDP forever. Thus every taxpayer would face a 28% increase in their income taxes if general revenues were used to pay future Medicare part A benefits that have been promised over and above revenues from the Medicare tax.

But this is just the beginning of Medicare's problems, because it also has two other programs: part B, which covers doctor's visits, and part D, which pays for prescription drugs.

The unfunded portion of Medicare part B is already covered by general revenues under current law. The present value of that is $37 trillion or 2.8% of GDP in perpetuity according to the trustees report (p. 111). The unfunded portion of Medicare part D, which was rammed into law by George W. Bush and a Republican Congress in 2003, is also covered by general revenues under current law and has a present value of $15.5 trillion or 1.2% of GDP forever (p. 127).

To summarize, we see that taxpayers are on the hook for Social Security and Medicare by these amounts: Social Security, 1.3% of GDP; Medicare part A, 2.8% of GDP; Medicare part B, 2.8% of GDP; and Medicare part D, 1.2% of GDP. This adds up to 8.1% of GDP. Thus federal income taxes for every taxpayer would have to rise by roughly 81% to pay all of the benefits promised by these programs under current law over and above the payroll tax.

Since many taxpayers have just paid their income taxes for 2008 they may have their federal returns close at hand. They all should look up the total amount they paid and multiply that figure by 1.81 to find out what they should be paying right now to finance Social Security and Medicare.

To put it another way, the total unfunded indebtedness of Social Security and Medicare comes to $106.4 trillion. That is how much larger the nation's capital stock would have to be today, all of it owned by the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, to generate enough income to pay all the benefits that have been promised over and above future payroll taxes. But the nation's total private net worth is only $51.5 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. In effect, we have promised the elderly benefits equal to more than twice the nation's total wealth on top of the payroll tax.

Of course, theoretically, benefits could be cut to prevent the necessity of a massive tax increase. But how likely is that? The percentage of the population that benefits from Social Security and Medicare is growing daily as the baby boom generation ages and longevity increases. And the elderly vote in the highest percentage of any age group, so their political influence is even greater than their numbers.

The reality, which absolutely no one in either party wishes to face, is that benefits are never going to be cut enough to prevent the necessity of a massive tax increase in the not-too-distant future. Those who think otherwise are either grossly ignorant of the fiscal facts, in denial, or living in a fantasy world.

Bruce Bartlett is a former Treasury Department economist and the author of Reaganomics: Supply-Side Economics in Action and Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy. He writes a weekly column for Forbes.

Who wants a Gunwalker T-Shirt?

UPDATE 2: I've added Small and Medium ($15). We have met the minimum number for this, so I will be off to the silk screener this morning. Since there is a lag time while the screen is made and he gets the order into rotation, you still have time to order. Don't miss out on what looks to be the official shirt of the Gunwalker scandal!

UPDATE: 3XL size added. Cost is $18

In the comments of John Richardson’s post detailing how the ATF was also smuggling guns into Honduras, I said

Am I the only person on the planet that didn't get guns from the ATF?

Apparently David Codrea, one of the two original reporters (and a great blogger) who uncovered the Gunwalker scandal, thought it was hilarious. He wants it made into a t-shirt.

So here’s the deal. I spoke with my local screen printer. He has a minimum order of 30 shirts. We can get them fully screen printed, black shirt, white AK-47 and lettering for $15 each. So for $15 plus $5 shipping and handling ($17 for XXL), you can have what will probably be the official shirt of Gunwalker.

All proceeds (if there are any) will go straight into my “Buy Sean a Kriss Vector” fund. If we get enough orders I will send a free shirt to David Codrea, Mike Vanderboegh (the other original reporter/blogger) and Representative Issa.

Who’s in?

Governor Files Legal Opinion Against Ban On Affirmative Action

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday added his voice in support of a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s ban on racial affirmative action in public university admissions.

In a legal brief, Brown said that minorities face too high a barrier in efforts to overturn Proposition 209, which voters approved in 1996, because it is part of the state Constitution and not just a law or university policy. In addition, he noted a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said race could be considered in state college admissions if it did not involve quotas or carry predetermined weight in decisions.

Last week, a federal appeals court struck down Michigan's ban on considering race and gender in college admissions, but that matter is expected to continue up the court ladder and does not affect California. A similar case seeking to overturn California’s Prop. 209 is in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the ban in 1997.

George Washington, a Detroit-based attorney arguing against the affirmative action bans in both states, said Friday that he was heartened by Brown’s opinion and that it would help the case. “It is very, very important,” he said of the governor's action.

Ward Connerly, the former University of California regent who helped draft Prop. 209, said he does not think the Brown brief will have any effect on the court. “This is strictly political,” he said of Brown’s action.

Dear Mr. Obama: Defense budget not your domestic ATM

The conservative Heritage Foundation is taking umbrage with President Obama’s statement that Defense dollars can be used to finance domestic programs.

At issue is a comment the president made in response to a question during his Wednesday Twitter town hall about Defense cuts.

“The nice thing about the defense budget is it’s so big, it’s so huge, that a 1 percent reduction is the equivalent of the education budget,” Obama said, immediately noting he was “exaggerating” the exact numbers.

“But it’s so big that you can make relatively modest changes to defense that end up giving you a lot of head room to fund things like basic research or student loans or things like that,” the president said.

But pro-defense conservatives like the military analysts at Heritage are fearing even bigger national security spending cuts in a debt-ceiling deal than Obama’s already ordered $400 billion by 2023.

And they did not like Obama’s comment one bit.

“Think again, Mr. President,” Mike Brownfield, Heritage’s assistant director of strategic communications, wrote on the think tank’s The Foundry blog. “Contrary to Obama’s belief, the defense budget is not an ATM from which he can pull cash to pay for other projects. And he certainly can’t do it without causing ... damage to U.S. military readiness.

“Contrary to his wildly exaggerated statement, a 1 percent reduction to the Pentagon’s proposed fiscal year 2012 base budget would be $5.5 billion—or 7 percent of the Department of Education’s proposed FY 2012 budget,” wrote Brownfield.

“The president’s accounting failures aside, there’s an even bigger problem at work,” Brownfield wrote. “Obama is of the belief that, for starters, $400 billion can be cut from the defense budget over the next 10 years without putting the military at risk” on top of cuts already made to the Pentagon budget in recent budget cycles, he added.

The Heritage writer faults Obama for wanting to “take those dollars and apply them to pay for his pet projects at home,” adding that it appears “the President is proposing those cuts irrespective of the military’s needs.”

Who will survive? The country vs the city.

I have seen several debates on various websites and blogs as of late, sometimes quite heated. The topic of these opinions and debates were what is better urban or rural from a survival standpoint. Some are adamant that no one can survive a TEOTWAWKI event if they are East of the big muddy and in particular if they are not on a very remote retreat.. others are of the opinion that remote rural retreats invite gangs of home invading thugs, and that resources are easier found in a urban situation given any situation short of zombie apocalypse.

I respect both of the aftermentioned points of view as both have merit. However; I also recommend that you do your own evaluation before making a decision as life altering as making a move and selecting a home or retreat location based on “possible” scenarios. If you are currently in a third floor apartment and have the drive and ability to enhance your survivability by relocating, DO IT! A microfarm or mini-homestead or even a suburban house with a sizeable garden space is better now than the dream retreat on 300 wooded acres in Alaska in twenty years.

Things you must consider (I suggest keeping a notebook for this process)..

Employment Opportunity: Unless you are of the trust fund baby clique or are retired this should be a prime factor. Surviving economically is a DAILY situation (and crisis for many) that IS HAPPENING NOW.

Health Care Services:While this may not matter once the balloon goes up, right now it does! Do you or any family member have a serious health condition? Does it require lots of care and appointments? Where is the nearest facility AND BACKUP facility that can care for this condition located? In the current economic climate can you afford to live 300 miles from the nearest specialist that your child must see twice a month and may be the only one who can treat the condition in an emergency?

Climate:Desert locations might not be an ideal place to set up a self sufficient location. The coastline while abundant in food sources also has those pesky hurricanes and lack of easily accessible fresh water.

Threat Analysis: Once you narrow down the location area /s based on the first three items, you need to do an in-depth threat analysis. This should include FBI and other federal crime statistics, local crime stats, a visit to the local sheriff’s office might be in order if a more rural setting. Newspaper research and talking up the locals is also good. You don’t want to find out that Methamphetamine production is the counties largest employer AFTER you close on property. Another fact to check on are sex offender lists and find out if there are any “early release” centers and halfway houses nearby, this is a cottage industry and brings bad things with it.

Also researching water table depth, water sources and nearby strategic targets for terrorists and or nuclear strike by other nations in the event of war would be prudent. I would avoid anything within 100mi of a major military base if possible. Also use Google Earth to recon your potential sites, you may not like whats over yonder hill.

Risk Analysis: Once you have your risks nailed down, make a corresponding list of “rewards” or things about the area that are ideal for your future survival bug-in/bug-out location. Now you must decide how much risk you are willing to accept, and how much you can mitigate or lessen. Please involve your Spouse in this process, people have different tolerance for different risks. It might look like this:

Site A

Risk Reward Mitigate?

In City of 450k Hospital for Sue’s care Live in suburb

Crime rate little high Close to work and church Alarm and dog

Occaional Tornado! Basement a must

Higher Tax base Excellent private school no

12mi from Army base no

Nuclear Station 21 mi upwind no

In this scenario I would look elsewhere!

Once you have done these things you can establish income, make sure your health care needs are met if any narrow your ideal area, only then should you actually start visiting properties and engage in the actual realestate part of the process. There are numerous volumes written on buying real estate , so I will not delve into that material.

So, what have we done to find a balance between remote living and urban convenience? First a little background is in order. My wife has an extremely rare condition that requires several diagnostic tests every year and monthly doctor visits. If the condition ever worsens she needs a squad within 15 minutes and a surgical ICU within 40minutes. There are only 4 physicians in the contenintal United States, that can perform the procedure that was used to save her life in 2008 should it ever need to be repeated. She is also diabetic and insulin dependant! I also have a daughter with a severe spinal issue that requires up to 20 visits per year to a pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon. Obviously we have to be within an hour of world class medical care, and needless to say I have issues should we ever really enter a long term crisis scenario that I would not wish on anyone!

What we did: We moved from a mid size town of 30000 ten years ago to escape the increasing crime and taxes. We now live in a very conservative Midwestern state, about 45 miles from a large metro area which has several excellent hospitals and universities. We are a few miles outside a town of 800 which sports a bank, post office and gas station. Our neighbors are mostly good hardworking farmers and others on small parcels like ours that just want to live and do their own thing. We watch out for one another and interlopers would likely receive fire from at least three directions if things went bad. I work for a service business and am withing easy driving distance of the clients I see on a daily basis, which if forced to escape the metro area on foot would result in a much faster trip home. We are within two miles of a staffed EMS and within 10 minutes of Medflight. The closest hospital that could stabilise my wife is twenty minutes by car.

We have access to employment, health care and other conveniences, with a much much lower crime and tax rate. We have enough property to be far more self sufficient than we could in any city area, with neighbors of like values close enough to call on for help and support in any situation. We can have any livestock that our acreage will support and in fact we are surrounded by horses, cattle, wheat and corn, and people who know how to live within their means and at least to some degree off their wits and the land.

I suppose what I am getting at is that there are many other options than living 10 miles from the nearest paved road or 1 mile from the nearest grocery. Do we spend more on fuel than a city dweller? yes, but we spend far less on taxes and “security issues” . Do we have a potential problem being 45 miles from 1 million people, sure we do, but the ability to secure needed care and other items outweighed the threat for us. I hope this post has gotten those of you who cannot decide between staying in an urban center or moving into the boondocks with the Amish to see that there are other options, that while not “perfect” in some experts opinions, will absolutely give you a far better chance of weathering any disaster or crisis than doing nothing. In the end your tribes needs and unique situation must dictate your survival location!

After All they had the PERFECT retreat!

How to Write Your Congressman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Harry R. Burger. Mr. Burger wrote his first letter to his congressman over ten years ago, and once had his state assemblyman recognize him by name from the back of a crowd.

Politics is a time honored manly pursuit. If a man doesn’t stand up for his own interests, how can he rightly expect anyone else to? While actually running for office may be a goal for some, it behooves all citizens to at least be aware of the politics and current events of their community, nation, and world. When you come across an issue you feel strongly about, instead of yelling at the television, you can actually do something about it–write your Congressman.

“Why should my Congressman care what I think?” you may ask. Well, you are one of their constituents–that makes it their job to represent you in government. They work for you, and if they don’t do their job and satisfy the people they represent, they can get voted out of office in the next election.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right of all citizens to communicate with their elected representatives:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (emphasis added)

This is a right Americans are fortunate to have–and don’t exercise nearly enough. Many men feel cynical and apathetic, that politicians are so corrupt that it’s not worth their time to petition them. But that just turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy! Things will never change if good men don’t get involved and hold their politicians accountable. Writing your representatives may seem like only a small thing, but politicians need to know that their constituents are paying attention.

Writing to your Congressman, or any other elected official, isn’t as hard or time-consuming as you might imagine. Follow the guidelines outlined below, exercise your citizenship, and make your voice heard.
Before You Write Your Representative

1. Hone in on exactly why you are writing.

Do you have a strong opinion on an issue you heard about in the news? Do you feel you have been treated unfairly by an agency of the government? Do you have a problem you believe deserves to be addressed by a new law? Does a particular law seem unfair to you, or to have undesirable implications? Are you applying to a service academy (i.e. West Point)? Are you working on the Citizenship in the Nation Merit Badge for the Boy Scouts? Are you making a courtesy invitation? Do you really like something your representative did?

It is important to sum up your purpose in one sentence, and not the kind with six commas. This is the first step, and it is important to give you focus and inform the rest of the process. Under most circumstances, this will be the first line of your letter.

2. Figure out whom you should be addressing.

You need to make sure you are sending your message to the right person. This can sometimes take a little bit of homework, depending on your issue. Sometimes your senator or representative is not the best person to handle your issue. For example, if you are concerned with land zoning, this is probably best addressed to your town or county level officials, and issues of state law go to your state legislator. Usually, it is best to deal with someone as low as possible in the chain that can help you, so you don’t need to wait as your message is passed down through the chain. The fewer constituents an official has, the more personal attention they can afford to give your message.

Every jurisdiction is structured differently, so it is impossible to summarize how to figure this out here. The internet has made this much easier, as almost every government branch and agency has a website these days. For federal representatives, has an interactive map setup to help you figure out what district you are in. Often, your local chapter of the League of Women Voters will maintain and publish a list of government officials, or a local library should be able to help.

“Do not ask for something they cannot deliver. A Town Supervisor, for example, cannot lower school taxes or increase Social Security Benefits.” -Frank Petrone, Supervisor, Town of Huntington, NY

You almost always want to address someone who represents you directly. If you get to vote for them they will care more about what you think, and if you accidentally address the wrong legislator they might be obligated to ignore your request out of courtesy for your actual representative. One exception to this might be if the issue affects a location that’s close to your home but technically in a different district–then your best bet is to address your concern to both representatives, and tell them both that you are doing so.

3. Pick the appropriate medium for your message.

Almost all public officials have a website these days–just Google their name and then look for the “Contact” link on their page. They may have specific instructions on how they prefer to be contacted. For example, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and anthrax mailings, members of Congress asked for emails instead of letters because of the extra security screenings and delays associated with physical mail. In general, you should choose the medium according to the issue you want addressed and how strongly you feel about it.

• Hard copy: This is the most dignified and time honored method. There is something about committing a message to paper that makes it all the more official and concrete. Generally this is your best route if you have the time to do it right, and you want to be taken seriously.

Only handwrite the final copy if you have nice, legible penmanship. Handwriting adds a more personal touch, but if the person on the other end can’t read what you want, then what’s the point of writing at all? If yours isn’t very good, perhaps it is time to start a journal for practice.

• Email: Best for when time is not particularly urgent and you don’t care all that strongly about an issue, but you still want your voice heard. Please do still follow the other guidelines here–it is far too easy to fire off an email in the heat of anger and without proofreading, which could hurt your case if the reader associates your point of view with characteristics like “uninformed” or “uneducated” or “irrational.”

You may come across a cause asking you to write in using a pre-written form letter where you only have to fill in your address and signature. While this is better than doing nothing to support the cause, it makes you just one more number; their staff will say “we got 25 letters or emails supporting XYZ.” It’s a little better if you can add a personal notation in the space usually provided, but if you really want to make an impact, it is always best to write your own message from top to bottom. You can copy out ideas or statistics or such from the form letter, but try to paraphrase and make it more personal.

• Phone call: If you hear on the news that something is being voted on today or tomorrow and you can get a live person from their office on the horn, this is the way to make sure your message gets through before it is too late. Keep it short and factual and be very clear on what your position is. If it’s not that urgent, it’s better to use another avenue.

• Meeting in person: This one has a lot of variability. There may be a public hearing for a specific issue, they might hold an event specifically to meet constituents and/or fundraise, or they may attend a meeting of civic groups like a Chamber of Commerce. My state assemblyman is known for showing up personally at Eagle Scout Courts of Honor, for example.

Usually you will not have very much time to address them, as there are many others like you waiting to do the same. Know what you want to say before you stand up to the microphone or shake their hand.

One strategy is to send a letter beforehand and at the meeting introduce yourself and refer to the main points of your letter. This lets them put a face to a name and shows that you care enough to participate in politics on multiple fronts.
Writing the Letter

1. Open the letter with an appropriate salutation. For a Representative or Senator, “To the Honorable John Doe,” is a good way to go. Using a title here is also acceptable, “Dear Supervisor Petrone,” for example. Also, make sure your full name and address is on the letter itself–envelopes can get lost, and you need to be sure they can verify if you are a constituent or not and send you a response. This is still important if you are sending an email. All the normal standards of good letter writing apply. Good stationery can’t hurt either.

“Keep it short.” -NY State Assemblyman Jim Conte

2. Get straight to the point. The first line of the letter should summarize why you are writing and what it is that you want (you should already be clear on this if you followed the above guidelines). Options include, “Thank you for…” “I support the passage of…” “Bill XYZ should not be allowed to pass,” etc. If it’s about a specific bill, include its official name and number if possible (ex. “USA PATRIOT Act HR 3162”). Don’t ramble on too long–people tend to get bored and stop reading after a page or two unless you write something interesting enough to justify it. And if you ramble, it makes you seem like a crazy man.

3. Back up your concerns. Hard facts and statistics cited from a specific, published source (be sure to say where you get the information from) can support your position much better than nebulous statements and pure opinion. Personal stories are often appropriate. If you can tell a story of how this issue affects you or your family specifically, that helps to “bring it home.” Politicians love to be able to call out their constituents by name and put a face on the cause. This also helps to develop a more personal connection between you and your representative.

4. Always remember to be respectful. This is someone of power and influence you are addressing, and generally you are looking for them to do you a favor. Impugning your recipient’s character or honesty is counterproductive. Above all, do NOT include anything that could be construed as a threat, unless you enjoy the prospect of the FBI investigating you.
Receiving a Response

Members of Congress are entitled to franking privileges, which means that their signature in place of a stamp lets them send mail to their constituents for free. Other officials may not be so lucky, but it is still in their best interest to let you know what they are doing to help you out–after all, they want your vote, and you’ve already shown them you care more about politics than most.

You may or may not receive a response, depending on the person you address, the issue you discuss, how many people wrote in about that issue, how busy the office is with other mail, how busy the official is at the moment, and other factors too varied to count. The bottom line is that if you don’t get an answer, it may not be any fault of yours. It might even just be delayed–Vice President Dick Cheney’s office once took almost three years to decline a courtesy invitation to my Eagle Scout ceremony (they blamed it on post-9/11 mail security). If getting a response is important to you, ask for one specifically.

More likely than not, any response you do get will be some sort of a form letter. Keep in mind when you are reading their response that this person most likely got to their office at least in part because they are gifted wordsmiths and diplomats, which is to say, you’ll need to read between the lines. If they can honestly say, “I agree with you and I voted accordingly,” of course they will do so. Flowery talk about taking your views into consideration or such without an explicit “I voted this way,” means they voted the other way, and they know you won’t like it, but they are trying to make it sound like they are still on your side.

If they do something special to help you out, a thank you note to let them know that your issue has been resolved is a respectful courtesy.

Like any activity, writing effective letters is a skill that improves with practice, and the first time is the hardest. Do yourself a favor and get over that hump today. Find an issue that matters to you–even if your passion for it isn’t very strong–and let your elected official know how you feel. It’s good practice for when you do have an important cause to champion.

Russian Navy On How to Deal with Pirates...

This is how you do it: nab the perps, tie 'em up, put them back on their own boat, then set the whole kit and kaboodle on fire and.... pooof, no more pirates.

The video below shows Russian Navy commandos on a Somali pirate ship shortly after the pirates had captured a Russian oil tanker. A number of commands directed at the prisoners are heard from from an English-speaking Russian, i.e. when the commandos find a weapons stash ("WTF??!")- and "Why do you lie to me? This is not a fishing boat!"

The soldiers immediately freed their compatriots and the Russian oil tanker. They moved the pirates back to their own skiff, searched the boat for weapons and explosives...then left and blew it up it with all remaining pirates hand-cuffed to it.

No court proceedings, lawyers etc- they simply employed the common sense anti-piracy laws of the 18th and 19th centuries, where the captain of the rescuing ship has the right to decide what to do with the pirates. In most circumstances... they were hung on the spot. This time they were vaporized, so what's the diff... dealer's choice!

Russian ships can now enjoy a substantial deterrent effect.... one other countries like ours could too, if they just allowed the people in their military to do their jobs without asking a bunch of totally unnecessary questions about the methods. They were caught red-handed, that's all anyone really needs to know.

And what the enemy off the coast of Somalia -who would kill you for $50- needs to know they will die quickly, painfully, and still dirt poor if they even look at American ships the wrong way... the Kremlin obviously understands the concept:


Family fights government over rare 'Double Eagle' gold coins

Hide your valuables! Phase One of confiscation has begun. Coin oddities go first....

A jeweler's heirs are fighting the United States government for the right to keep a batch of rare and valuable "Double Eagle" $20 coins that date back to the Franklin Roosevelt administration. It's just the latest coin controversy to make headlines.

Philadelphian Joan Langbord and her sons say they found the 10 coins in 2003 in a bank deposit box kept by Langbord's father, Israel Switt, a jeweler who died in 1990. But when they tried to have the haul authenticated by the U.S. Treasury, the feds, um, flipped.

They said the coins were stolen from the U.S. Mint back in 1933, and are the government's property. The Treasury Department seized the coins, and locked them away at Fort Knox. The court battle is set to kick off this week.

The rare coins (pictured), first struck in 1850, show a flying eagle on one side and a figure representing liberty on the other. One such coin recently sold at auction for $7.6 million, meaning the Langbords' trove could be worth as much as $80 million.

The coins are part of a batch that were struck but then melted down after President Roosevelt took the country off the gold standard in 1933, during the Great Depression. Two were given to the Smithsonian Institution*, but a few more mysteriously escaped.

The government has long believed that Switt schemed with a corrupt cashier at the Mint to swipe the coins. They note that the deposit box in which the coins were found was rented six years after Switt's death, and that the family never paid inheritance tax on the coins.

A lawyer for the Langbords counters that the coins could have left the Mint legally since it was permissible to swap gold coins for gold bullion.

Authorities in the Roosevelt era twice looked into Switt's coin dealings, including his possession of Double Eagle coins. In 1944, Switt's license to deal scrap gold was revoked.

The battle over the Double Eagles is hardly the only recent coin contretemps. Two British metal-detecting enthusiasts are said to be locked in a bitter dispute over how to divide the profits from a horde of Iron Age gold coins that they unearthed together in eastern England in 2008.

And an 80-year-old California man was jailed in 2009 after allegedly hitting another man in the head with a metal pipe and firing a gun at a third man during a dispute over missing gold coins.

Some coin disputes involve more than wrangling over valuable collectors' items. In 2007, Secret Service and FBI agents raided an Indiana company called Liberty Dollar, in a bid to stamp out illegal currency. The firm was making "Ron Paul Silver Dollars," in honor of Rep. Ron Paul, whose presidential campaign advocates bringing back the gold standard.

And since we're talking about coins, here's a list of the ten most valuable coins you might find in your pocket change.

* This sentence previously referred incorrectly to the "Smithsonian Institute."

From the Dept of Government Dependency

Food Stamps or Criminal Gardening.... The "choice" is yours!
Weeds permitted in your front yard. But NO gardens.

Oak Park Woman Faces 93-Days in Jail For Planting Vegetable Garden

OAK PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - "The price of organic food is kind of through the roof," said Julie Bass.

So, why not grow your own? However, Bass' garden is a little unique because it's in her front yard.

"We thought it'd be really cool to do it so the neighbors could see. The kids love it. The kids from the neighborhood all come and help," she said.

Bass' cool garden has landed her in hot water with the City of Oak Park. Code enforcement gave her a warning, then a ticket and now she's been charged with a misdemeanor.

"I think it's sad that the City of Oak Park that's already strapped for cash is paying a lot of money to have a prosecutor bothering us," Bass told FOX 2's Alexis Wiley.

"That's not what we want to see in a front yard," said Oak Park City Planner Kevin Rulkowski.

Why? The city is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. The big question is what's "suitable?"

We asked Bass whether she thinks she has suitable, live, plant material in her front yard.

"It's definitely live. It's definitely plant. It's definitely material. We think it's suitable," she said.

So, we asked Rulkowski why it's not suitable.

"If you look at the definition of what suitable is in Webster's dictionary, it will say common. So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what's common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers," he said.

But when you look at front yards that are unsightly and overgrown, is Bass' vegetable garden really worth the city's time and money?

We asked Rulkowski what he would say to those who feel this is ridiculous.

"I would argue that you won't find that opinion from most people in Oak Park," he responded.

"I have a bunch of little children and we take walks to come by and see everything growing. I think it's a very wonderful thing for our neighborhood," said neighbor Devorah Gold.

"They don't have (anything) else to do (if) they're going to take her to court for a garden," said neighbor Ora Goodwin.

We did find one neighbor who wasn't a fan and thinks it needs to go.

"I know there's a backyard. Do it in the backyard," he said.

"They say, 'Why should you grow things in the front?' Well, why shouldn't I? They're fine. They're pretty. They're well maintained," said Bass.

It looks like this critical debate is headed for a jury trial and neither side is backing down.

"I could sell out and save my own self and just not have them bother me anymore, but then there's no telling what they're going to harass the next person about," Bass told us.

There's another pretrial scheduled for July 26. The next step could be a jury trial.

Obama kills space program -- ends America's dominance; kills 10,000 jobs

Atlantis Blasts Off on Final Flight for Space Shuttle Program

Space shuttle Atlantis displayed its power and majesty one final time, rocketing into space from Kennedy Space Center at 11:26 a.m. ET Friday morning despite threatening weather -- marking the final launch after 30 years for NASA's storied fleet of shuttles.

Seven million pounds of thrust from the shuttle's rocket booster carried the vehicle into orbit one last time, at speeds of up to 19,000 miles per hour, for an expected meeting with the International Space Station on Sunday.

It was a bittersweet moment for everyone involved.

"The sense of history, the legacy of what has happened here over three decades, is palpable," a Mission Control spokesman said before the launch, noting that "30 years and three months ago, it was Columbia on the launch pad awaiting lift off."

"America will continue the dream," the launch director said as Atlantis lifted-off on its 33rd and last flight.

The crew -- Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim -- had arrived at the launch pad's White Room at 8:06 a.m. ET for the boarding process, undeterred by reports that there was only a 30 percent chance of favorable weather for blast off.

"For the final time, good luck, godspeed, and have a little fun up there," launch director Mike Leinbach told the shuttle crew before lift off.

In a video message released after the launch, NASA chief Charles Bolden saluted the final flight of Atlantis -- and offered hope for the future of U.S. spaceflight.

"Over three decades, the shuttle has brought this nation many firsts, and many, many proud moments," Bolden said. "The shuttle pioneers have made the next chapter of human spaceflight possible."

"American ingenuity is alive and well, and it will fire up our economy -- and help us win the future," he added.

The gloomy weather predictions in the days leading up to the historic final flight did not deter crowds: At least 750,000 spectators were gathered at nearby vantage points early Friday, AFP reported, eager to catch a glimpse of the 30-year space shuttle program's swan song.

NASA had been predicting as many as 1,000,000 viewers for Atlantis' final blast off.

At Kennedy Space Center, staff were in a contemplative mood. Thousands are set to lose their jobs after the mission as NASA enters a period of reduced activity.

"It is a sad time," NASA astronaut Terry Virts said, reflecting on what he called the "passion" of many of his coworkers. "The sad part about it is that we won't have an American ability to launch astronauts anymore."

The highly-anticipated flight of Atlantis is the 135th and last for the U.S. space shuttle program, leaving Russia's space capsules as the sole option for astronauts heading to and from the International Space Station.

Newscore contributed to this story.

U.K. official who advised Savage ban arrested for wire tapping while employed by Murdoch

U.K. official who advised Savage ban arrested for wire tapping while employed by Murdoch

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister David Cameron’s former communications chief and an ex-royal reporter were arrested Friday in a phone hacking and police corruption scandal that has already toppled a major tabloid and rattled the cozy relationship between British politicians and the powerful Murdoch media empire.

The 168-year-old muckraking tabloid News of the World was shut down Thursday after being engulfed by allegations its journalists paid police for information and hacked into the phone messages of celebrities, young murder victims and even the grieving families of dead soldiers. Its last publication day is Sunday.

The hacking revelations horrified both ordinary Britons and advertisers, who pulled their ads en masse. News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., killed the paper in hopes that a 12-billion pound ($19 billion) deal to take over satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting could be saved. But the British government on Friday signaled the deal would be delayed as a result of the crisis.

“Given the events of recent days, this will take some time,” Cameron said.


A billion pounds ($1.6 billion) was wiped off the value of BSkyB Friday, with shares down nearly 8 percent in London trading as investors recoiled at the bad news.

“The pressure on the stock has really been driven by a sense News Corp. is not taking in the severity of its political issues and the embarrassment they are causing the prime minister,” said industry analyst Claire Enders.

British broadcast regulator OFCOM — which has a duty to ensure media owners are “fit and proper” — said it was “monitoring the situation closely.”

London police said a 43-year-old man was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of corruption and “conspiring to intercept communications.” They did not name him, but offered the information when asked about Andy Coulson, Cameron’s once-powerful aide and a former editor of News of the World.

Police also arrested Clive Goodman, the former News of the World royal editor who served a jail term in 2007 for hacking into the phones of royal aides. This time the arrest was on suspicion of making illegal payoffs to police for scoops.

Detectives searched Coulson’s home in London and Goodman’s home south of the city Friday, as well as the newsroom of a second tabloid, the Daily Star Sunday. That paper is owned by Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell media conglomerate, and Goodman has done work for the paper since his release from jail.

The Daily Star Sunday said detectives spent two hours at its offices and took away a disc containing a record of Goodman’s computer activity.

The paper said police were “carrying out these routine checks at all places where Mr. Goodman has worked as a freelance since he left the News of the World.” It said there was “no suggestion whatsoever” that he acted improperly during his shifts at the Star.

Cameron, realizing that the crisis was knocking at his 10 Downing St. door, moved quickly to distance himself from it. He acknowledged that British politicians and the press had become too close and promised investigations into both the tabloid’s actions and into future media regulation.

“The truth is, we’ve all been in this together,” Cameron told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference Friday morning. “Party leaders were so keen to win the support of newspapers that we turned a blind eye to the need to sort this issue. The people in power knew things weren’t right but they didn’t do enough quickly enough.”

Coulson quit as editor of News of the World after Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in 2007 for hacking into the phones of royal aides. Coulson maintained he knew nothing of the hacking, and was hired in 2010 as Cameron’s director of communications, but resigned in January as it became clear the hacking at the tabloid had been far more widespread.

Opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband had urged Cameron to apologize for “the appalling error of judgment he made in hiring Andy Coulson.” Cameron refused, saying Coulson remained a friend, but clearly moved a further step away.

“(Coulson) gave me assurances,” Cameron said. “He said he had resigned because of what had happened, but he didn’t know the hacking had taken place.”

“I took a conscious choice to give someone who had screwed up a second chance,” Cameron said. “He worked for me, he worked for me well, but actually he decided in the end the second chance wouldn’t work, he had to resign all over again for the first offense.”

Cameron said press self-regulation by the Press Complaints Commission had failed and a new body, independent of the media and the government, was needed to properly enforce standards. The police investigation of the phone hacking charges years ago has now been criticized as incomplete and compromised by new bribery allegations. The Metropolitan Police this week expanded their hacking inquiry and say they are looking at the names of over 4,000 people as possible victims.

Cameron suggested his friend Rebekah Brooks, a former editor of the tabloid, should have resigned as chief executive of News International. He also said there were questions to be answered by James Murdoch, the heir-apparent to his father’s media empire.

“I want everyone to be clear: Everything that has happened is going to be investigated,” Cameron said.

He said a judge will be appointed to lead a thorough investigation of what went wrong at the News of the World, including alleged bribery of police officers, and a second inquiry to find a new way of regulating the press.

The scandal exploded this week after it was reported that the News of the World had hacked the mobile phone of 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler in 2002 while her family and police were desperately searching for her. News of the World operatives reportedly deleted some messages from the phone’s voicemail, giving the girl’s parents false hope that she was still alive.

That ignited public outrage far beyond any previous reaction to press intrusion into the lives of politicians and celebrities, which the paper has acknowledged and for which it has paid compensation to some prominent victims, including actress Sienna Miller.

Dozens of companies pulled their advertising from the paper this week, fearing they would be tainted by association. James Murdoch then announced Thursday that this Sunday’s edition of the tabloid would be its last and all revenue from it will go to “good causes.”

News International has not said whether it will move quickly to put another paper into the Sunday market that has been dominated for decades by News of the World. According to online records, an unnamed U.K. individual this week bought the rights to the domain name “”

The British government gave its qualified approval in June to Murdoch’s News Corp. purchasing the 61 percent of British Sky Broadcasting that it doesn’t already own, on the condition it spins off news channel Sky News as a separate company.

But Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Friday there had been a huge volume of responses to a public consultation on the takeover, said to exceed 100,000 submissions, and would delay the approval process.

Despite the public outcry, many analysts think Britain will still sanction the takeover but delay it until at least September.

By late afternoon London time, BSkyB’s share price was down 7.8 percent at 749 pence ($11.98).

Shares in the Nasdaq-listed News Corp., which owns 39 percent of BSkyB, were down 3.5 percent at $16.82 around midday in New York.


Danica Kirka and Raphael G. Satter contributed to this report.