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31.5.13

Jake's Take: Adam Kokesh and Treason


Jake's Take: Adam Kokesh and Treason




U.S. Constitution - Article 3 Section 3

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

"The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted"

These words are directly from our U.S. Constitution. Basically a person is guilty of treason if it is proven by testimony of witnesses or confession in open court that said person is helping enemies of the United States by providing aid to enemies foreign or domestic. This section of the Constitution appears to be very explicit in what makes up the charge of treason.

Adam Kokesh is an Iraq war veteran who served in the Marine Corps. Normally I would say we should support our US veterans but in this case this man appears to want to take up arms and overthrow our federal government(which he fought a war for) for what he sees as oppression.

Recently Mr. Kokesh had planned what he called an armed march on Washington DC. This was planned for July 4, 2013 as a form of civil disobedience against what he saw was the potential that the US government would try to pass laws to disarm all Americans. 

Last week Mr. Kokesh decided that his planned March was not enough and that his so-called "American Revolutionary Army" would be taking their armed "march" to each of the 50 state capitals of the United States. The goal is to force every governor in the United States to start secession from the federal government and reclaiming all federal property. If this is not done within the next year that they may take more extreme action to overthrow the federal government.

 Mr.Kokesh was recently arrested at a "smoke-it-out" marijuana event in Philadelphia Pennsylvania after a short stint in jail he was released and all charges downgraded to citations according to his statements. While in jail he claimed that it was simply a scam set up by the federal government to frame him for the assault of federal official. Now there's no evidence that that shows any wrongdoing by the federal government or Mr. Kokesh. Upon his release he released this short manifesto:

"When a government has repeatedly and deliberately failed to follow its own laws, violated the fundamental human rights of its citizens, threatened the sanctity of a free press, created institutions intended to eliminate privacy of communication, waged war at the behest of special interests that threatens the public safety, killed hundreds of children with drone strikes, imprisoned and destroyed the lives of countless individuals for victimless crimes, stifled economic opportunity to maintain the dominance of the financial elite, stolen from the people through an absurd system of taxation and inflation, sold future generations into debt slavery, and abused its power to suppress political opposition, it is unfit to exist and it becomes the duty of the people to alter or abolish that government by whatever means necessary to secure liberty and ensure peace. A new American revolution is long overdue. This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year pass from this July 4th while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible. The time to sit idly by has passed, to remain neutral is to be complicit, just doing your job is not an excuse, and the line in the sand has been drawn between we the people, and the criminals in Washington, DC. While some timid souls will say that it is too early, that we can solve this problem through democratic means provided by government, that current levels of taxation are reasonable for the services provided, and that the crimes of this government are merely a tolerable nuisance; it may already be too late. While there is risk in drastic action, the greater danger lies in allowing this government to continue unchallenged. So if you are content with the status quo, stay home, get fat, watch the fireworks from a safe distance, and allow this Independence Day to pass like any other. But if you see as we see, and feel as we feel, we will see you on the front lines of freedom on July 4th 2013 for this: The Final American Revolution."

Mr.Kokesh does make a few valid points in his argument for armed rebellion, but he is refusing to go through the proper democratic process to achieve his goal. He is right in his anger about drone strikes killing children and the US government waging war and helping the elites of our country profit off the deaths of civilian women and children in other parts the world as well as the deaths of its our own military personnel. 

Mr.Kokesh feels that the misdeeds of this government cannot be solved at the ballot box and that we must turn to violence. He says people such as myself who think we should change our government within the framework of the basic rule law and our Constitution are simply timid souls who are simply scared to rock the boat and complicit in the crimes allegedly committed by our government. 

I would say that Adam Kokesh is the one who needs to put a little more thought into his plan of action. He and his band of thugs need to learn to go through the proper Democratic channels such as the voting booth, running for office such as Congress or even running for president of the United States. Instead they choose to ignore the tools given to them to make change within the framework of our Constitution. 

Also, it seems a bit ironic that the same man that was planning a March in support of Second Amendment gun rights now thinks we should simply trash the Constitution that has got us this far, ignore the rule of law and even suggest armed conflict with those that oppose his views. This makes him the very essence of an extremist. The Taliban works in much the same fashion. 

Simply put Mr. Kokesh and his radical followers are suggesting waging war against America and thus making them domestic enemies. The fact that he and his fellow would-be terrorists enemies of America have not been arrested and placed on trial for trying to start an armed rebellion against the people and government of America is beyond comprehension. With all due respect to the fact that Mr.Kokesh served in the Marine Corps and served in the Iraq war the act of treason against America is one of the most un-American acts any American could partake in. If you support him and his followers it makes you complicit in his crime of treason. Truly I hope we as a people can continue to use democracy and other non-violent means to solve our problems with our government.

Sure our government has many issues, but is armed revolt  really the answer? Can we as Americans truly not solve our differences with anything short of violence? To me all the issues that we have with our federal government could easily be solved peacefully if Americans choose to take the time to learn how our system really works and how to work within it. If we all work together radicals like Adam Kokesh Would not have the opportunity to try to convince us that the only solution is war.

30.5.13

Michele Bachmann won't seek a 5th term

In a move that left many liberals in a party mood and seen by some as a potential blow to the Tea Party Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) announced yesterday that she would not seek a 5th term for her U.S. house seat amid an FBI investigation into her campaigns finances.

Bachmann, said she knew she could win another term even with the investigation going on and that the FBI looking into her campaign did not affect her decision. Saying she would continue to push for her political ideals such as traditional marriage, family values and her opposition to abortion rights.

Liberals who found her views to be archaic and even radical are seeing her departure from congress as a win for the rights of women and LGBT Americans.

On the other hand Ms. Bachmann was a major voice with-in the Tea Party. She even started the Tea Party response to the State of the Union. But her sway with-in the Tea Party ranks began to fade with the undoing of her 2012 campaign in the republican primary race.

All that is for sure is she will be missed by those who supported her.

The incredible shrinking deficit!!






For years now the GOP has been telling everyone how our deficit and debt were at dire levels. With that said one would think when the CBO released a new report revising downward our deficits for the next 10 years, the GOP would have been happy and celebrating the news.

This of course is not what happened. The fact of the matter is no one from either party took credit for the large and historic decrease in our yearly deficits. There is an easy explanation for no one taking credit for the new CBO revision.

The reason for this is simply the fact that the speed at which our deficit is shrinking will have detrimental effect on our overall economy, thus slowing an already slow recovery. The amount of spending being cut through austerity type programs is causing higher unemployment. As these cuts are cutting jobs for police, firefighters, teachers and even government contractors. Along with other cuts to programs that the poor, elderly and disabled rely on, these cuts only slow recovery and lower consumer buying power.

The CBO says the U.S. deficit will shrink to 642 billion for 2013 down from 1.10 trillion a year ago. This is the smallest deficit since 2008. This year's deficit is projected at 4.0 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with it dropping to 2.1 percent of GDP by 2015 if the current trend of falling spending and rising revenues maintains its current track.

This shows for the time being our deficits are not a dire issue. We could spend some time on the real issues facing the U.S. like funding education and saving failing schools. Also, rehiring teachers who have been fired because of the massive cuts to education spending. Not to mention adding more police in an effort to increase school safety.

The CBO report was not all sunshine and butterflies though. As we're currently we are lowering deficits, by the end of the next 10 years our deficits will begin to rise. By 2023 our deficit will be 3.1 percent of GDP on an upward trend. This is mostly due to health care cost in programs like Medicare, related to an aging population.

So we must remain mindful of our spending, but we can be smart about how we attack our spending problems as opposed to making deep cuts to everything from the military to housing subsidies to even food stamps.
LINK TO THE CBO REPORT

22.5.13

Jake's Take: Florida teen arrested for same-sex relations?


Jake's Take: Where I  give commentary on different issues facing our nation or world.







A high school senior in Florida has been arrested and charged with felony lewd and lascivious battery of a child 12-16 years of age.


Kaitlyn Hunt of Sebastian, Florida was arrested on February 16, 2013 after the parents of the girl she was dating reported the alleged sexual relationship. Now her mother Kelley Hunt Smith is saying the parents of her daughter's girlfriend we simply mad about the same-sex relationship their daughter was engaged in.

The age of consent in the State of Florida is 18. The girl Hunt was dating was 14 at the time. Therefore, Hunt was in violation of state law. Her mother wants to act as if her daughter is being singled of because she was engaged in a same-sex relationship.

The fact of the matter is if this was an 18 year old male engaged in a sexual relationship with someone underage male or female this would never have made the news. He would have been arrested and charged just as Ms. Hunt was except with no fanfare and for sure no campaign to have his charges dropped.

Hunt's mother is basically saying it was just a sexual lesbian relationship so no harm no foul and has launched a petition to have all charges dropped. At the heart of this is the fact she broke the law and she got caught by the other kids parents whom did not approve and thus they reported it to the police as is their right. Hunt's mother keeps saying this was a consensual relationship, but under Florida law this is not possible. The age of consent in Florida is 18 and the minor in question was 14 and as such not legally able to consent to the sex acts alleged.

My opinion is that these laws do go too far and do ruin many young people's lives. Also, it puts the government in the role of sexual morality police instead of the parents. On the other hand the law is the law if you break it you can and most likely will be caught. Just because it is a same-sex relationship should not change the how the law is applied.

20.5.13

At least 51 dead after 2 mile wide tornado hits Moore, Ok.

UPDATE: The M.E. says numbers are 51 dead at least 20 of which are children. 








The planned story over the shrinking deficit will be delayed until at least tomorrow in light of the events today in Moore, Oklahoma. It would not be prudent to discuss such trivial things in a time of such tragedy.

Moore, Oklahoma was hit by a massive tornado this afternoon that had at least one school in its path. The storm is reported to have had a preliminary rating of an EF4 and according to reports the tornado was 2 miles wide.

At least 51 are dead including 7 children according to authorities. This comes on the heels of the storms in Texas last week and the deadly twister outbreak in Oklahoma yesterday May 19th in which 2 are reported to have died on a day with with 26 reported twisters.

Please keep the people of Oklahoma in your thoughts and prayers tonight.

Also, if you can give to the Red Cross by clicking here or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

We will bring you more as it comes in.

Should Americans with Cancer Go Bankrupt?

In the republican primaries in 2012 there was a moment when the crowd watching cheered at the idea of simply letting folks without insurance die of cancer. As much as this was disturbing to most Americans and much of the world it is not the only issue related to cancer patients in America.

The financial toll a cancer diagnosis can bring, will increase the chance of the patient filing bankruptcy. A new study published in Health Affairs states that a patient with cancer diagnosis is 2.65 times more likely than people without cancer to file for bankruptcy.

This begs the question "should Americans go bankrupt because they have a catastrophic illness?" In a nation as rich as ours and with the quality of our medical experts, why should this be the case?

First off we may have the some of the best and brightest minds in the medical world here in America. This issue is access to this care can be very expensive. One reason for this is the sometimes insane cost of cancer drugs. Many of these drugs could really help save lives but many with or without health insurance simply can not afford them.

Another reason is to not being able to work due to treatment. This causes lost wages for the patients a lot of the time. Also, this affects not just the patients income but can affect the income for others in the family as well.

Letting our fellow Americans go bankrupt due to a cancer diagnosis just seems UN-American to many. These people having to file bankruptcy not only affects the patients but the entire economy. This should not be allowed to stand in our land of plenty.

One solution could be a less than 1% national sales tax that could go into an account that no politicians can touch. This money could be used to at least offset the cost of life saving cancer drugs for those with or without healthcare insurance. Also, the fund could be used to help those who need it with some monetary help for basics electric bills and mortgage payments.

We as Americans should be appalled at the numbers of cancer patients that must file bankruptcy.It simply does not have to be this way. We are Americans and when Americans work together we can solve or overcome anything.

14.5.13

Abortion Monster Found Guilty

Kermit Gosnell Found Guilty

Abortion provider Kermit Gosnell was found guilty yesterday of 3 counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. In a case that has sparked outrage from anti-abortion and pro-choice groups alike.

Gosnell was found guilty on 3 counts of murder for his actions on the deaths of 3 live fetuses he claimed were already dead. The prosecution claimed Mr. Gosnell had snipped the spinal cords of these live fetuses. He was also found guilty of manslaughter in the case of a Bhutan immigrant who died while in his care.

He was found guilty on 37 other counts as well. These counts were for violating
Pennsylvania state informed consent laws as well as performing abortions after the 24 week mark as is the state limit. Gosnell faced over 200 counts related to being in violation of several abortion laws and racketeering. He is also facing a federal drug charge as well.

Abortion rights groups are pointing to this case as a reason to keep abortion legal to prevent women from being forced to use back alley quacks like Mr. Gosnell for abortions. President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Ilyse Hogue said "We hope that the lessons of the trial do not fade with the verdict. Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell".

Anti-abortion groups say this is exactly why abortion should be banned in every instance. Because evil doctors are able to prey on vulnerable women in a time of desperation. Anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said “The greatest tragedy is that Kermit Gosnell is not alone. Exploitation of women and complete disregard for their health and well-being are problems endemic to the entire abortion industry”.

Many conservatives claim there was a "media blackout" by the mainstream liberal media on this case. The facts do not seem to look as if this was truly the case. This case had an entire page dedicated to it on the rather liberal Huffington Post website and was covered on television shows such as Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. So there may not have been massive coverage by liberal news media but there was coverage. Also, many would have seen too much coverage sensationalism and giving this monster to much publicity which he does not deserve. Whatever the reason for less coverage of of this case by liberal news outlets the fact it it was covered by them.

Both side are claiming a victory with this verdict. It does not appear there is a winner here as a woman is dead and Gosnell is guilty of some very horrific acts on defenseless fetuses that had been born alive and he killed by cutting their spinal cords. With his conviction Gosnell could face the death penalty.

10.5.13

What's really important to Americans?

This week a few things happened while most of America was glued to a murder trial they really had no stake in and many others were sucked into the right wing hysteria of the Benghazi hearings. If you fit in either of these categories here are some things that were a bit more important than either of these this past week.

First shortly after the hearing over Benghazi the U.S. House voted to kill overtime pay for hourly workers. The bill (HR1406) if signed by the president would give employers the choice of giving comp. time or time and a half. To hourly workers who work over 40 hours a week. This seems like a win for workers but there are issues. The bill takes away the guarantee of time and a half as there was no protection for workers guaranteeing workers choice between comp. time and overtime pay. Though there were attempts to and an amendment to the bill adding this protection but was shot down by the GOP. Good thing for workers the White House has promised a veto of the bill without protections for American workers.

The other is a story of 3 women Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight held captive for 10 years  by their kidnapper in Cleveland, Ohio. The man had abducted and held them in his house. Where he repeatedly raped them for years and one of the girls had a child reportedly by their captor who when rescued this week was 6 years old. The women and child were all in relative good health. The man charged with the kidnapping and rape of these women may also face murder charges for beating the women to force miscarriages when he got them pregnant.

2.5.13

JAKE'S TAKE: "Accidental Racist"

"This is a new addition to the Fresh Political View blog. Jake's Take is where I will simply give commentary on different issues facing our nation or world." -Jake



There appears to be a large amount of controversy surrounding a recent song by country artist Brad Paisley featuring featuring hip-hop artist LL Cool J. The song entitled "Accidental Racist" has been described by many as one the most racist songs ever made. The amount of controversy this song is stirring up goes to show you just how far political correctness has gone and how far we have to go to truly solve race relations issues in American.

The song is very straightforward and hits right at the issues that many have whether they be black or white. In the song a white man is trying to explain why he wears a shirt with a Confederate flag. He says the reason he's wearing the shirt is simply to show he's a fan of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd and that is not meant to offend the person he is talking to in the song. He goes on to say that you can walk a mile in another man's shoes but that you cannot walk a mile in another man's skin. So in the end is simply a song about a man who is proud to be from the South but not necessarily proud of all the history of the South. 

The song features LL Cool J who says "If you don't judge my gold chains" "I'll forget the iron chains" referring to the chains of slavery. During LL Cool J's part he's trying to explain how he wishes the white man would simply get to know him as opposed to judging him based on the way he dresses. He goes on to say they're both guilty of judging the other because he makes similar judgments based on the shirt the white guy was wearing and feeling that things just might not be okay. So overall it is a song that speaks racism, but was not written to be a racist song but possibly open dialogue to our differences.

Jakes Take: 
After hearing all the controversy surrounding "Accidental Racist" I finally took the time to sit down and actually listen to the song. My hope was to see what was so bad about this song. At first listen one could take it in a way that would seem racist. But when you actually listen to the lyrics is not racist in the least. It is simply a dialogue between a white man and a black man trying to discuss their differences while looking forward as opposed looking back into history. Sure there are lines that could strike a nerve with many Americans. The fact is just because a topic or a song lyric makes you uncomfortable does not necessarily mean the song is racist, bad or wrong. This song has the potential to make people look at racism in an entirely different way. we must not forget our past, but it should not dictate our future.

People who listen to the song once and claim that it's the most racist song they ever heard should probably take the time to re-evaluate the song simply based on the lyrics and not preconceived notions. We as Americans have many issues from our past that still plague our society today and racism is still a part of the American Society. To attempt to break down the walls of racism we will need more open and serious dialogue such as in this song.

In the end, trying to solve racism take an extremely long time to accomplish but this does not mean we should not try. To get there we must also drop the notion of political correctness. All political correctness does is create censorship of people's true feelings. This is America we are free to speak our truth feelings, but political correctness has stifled our freedom of speech.

Internet Sales Tax bill: The Marketplace Fairness Act



 
Many are wondering about a bill that was introduced in U.S. Senate recently. The Marketplace Fairness Act (S.B. 743) was introduced by senator Michael Enzi (R-WY) on April 16, 2013. This bill is designed to allow states to collect sales tax on online sales. As it is now states can only require online companies that have a brick and mortar presence in that state.

According to supporters of the bill it would be a big win for local businesses and finally level the playing field between them and the online retailers such as Amazon, overstock.com, and even Walmart. Over the last several years many governors both Republican and Democrat have asked the federal government to step in and pass a law that allows states the ability to recoup these lost sales tax revenues. Also, they say that state and local governments lose out on billions a year in tax revenue due to not being able to collect these taxes. States missed out on roughly $23 billion last year because they were not able collect taxes on out-of-state sales according to The National Conference of State Legislatures. Some even feel that the days of big online retailers putting the squeeze on Main Street businesses will be a thing of the past if this bill makes it through Congress. Bill Hughes of the Retail Industry Leaders Association said "The special treatment of big online businesses at the expense of retailers on Main Street will soon be a thing of the past,"

Amazon is one online seller who is supporting this bill. According to Wonkblog over at The Washington Post this has two reasons: "For one, the company is big enough that collecting these sales taxes will be more of a burden to its smaller competitors. Second, Amazon has been moving to same-day shipping and is setting up physical warehouses in just about every state — so, increasingly, it’s already required to collect sales tax under existing rules anyway." Some smaller online retailers such as eBay have said they would possibly support this bill as well, if the exemptions for smaller retailers were increased from $1 million to $10 million in out-of-state annual sales. This would prevent smaller online sellers from feeling the squeeze that their larger competitors such as Amazon would not feel under this law.

Those that oppose the Marketplace Fairness Act say it is unfair to allow states to collect taxes on sales made online. They claim it puts an unfair burden on smaller online retailers by forcing them to spend time and money to collect these taxes from every state and locality in the nation. The acting president and CEO of The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Ken Bentsen, a lobby group for the finance sector, says “The bill could lead to unexpected costs being passed on to consumers of financial services, including sales taxes on services or state-level stock transaction taxes.”as mentioned before smaller online retailers feel the exemption limit of $1 million of annual out-of-state sales will place an undue burden on their businesses. To some this is seen by many simply as a way to squeeze out smaller competitors by larger online retailers such as Amazon and Walmart.

Some will say that we should just leave it to the states to solve this particular problem. The problem with this is that several states have already tried this with different laws that may or may not be constitutional. States are simply asking for help from the federal government to make the uniform Law across the country. That would make it easier to collect sales tax from online sales.

This bill will not have any effect on residents of the states that do not collect sales tax. Furthermore, this bill will not change the percentage of sales tax that you would normally pay at any store. This bill will simply make sure cities and states will have the ability if they choose to collect sales tax from sales made within their borders. Also, this bill would also require that states that want to collect sales tax from online sales would first have to simplify the way in which they collect online sales tax to be uniform with other states. After this the states would have to give retailers software to help them with the calculation of sales tax due to the particular state.

Even if this bill passes the U.S. Senate, as it appears poised to pass with a large bipartisan majority when Congress returns To Washington DC next week, it will face an uphill battle in the US House of Representatives. Many Republican representatives view this bill as a tax hike on the American people. There appears to be some split within the GOP in the U.S. House on the tax hike opinion.  Some Republicans seem to understand the plight of Main Street small businesses and their local cities and states. So there is a chance this bill will make it through Congress and make it to the desk of President Obama, who the White House says will most likely sign the bill into law.



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