Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) went out of his way to insult Americans who sympathize with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy on Thursday, labeling supporters as “nothing more than domestic terrorists.” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) condemned the Nevada Democrat’s words, saying that Reid’s language could potentially increase tensions to the point of violence. It’s beginning to seem like that may be Reid’s goal.
“I don’t think calling people names is going to calm this down,” Paul said on Fox News. “I think it’s liable to stir it up. So I think all parties, including Senator Reid, should calm the rhetoric a little bit. Let’s try to have a peaceful resolution to this.”
Reid, whose obsession with the Bundy ranch dispute has raised questions about his motives (more on that from Wayne Allyn Root), remains adamant in calling for the government to punish the Nevada rancher for failing to pay grazing fees or to recognize Federal authority.
“Clive Bundy does not recognize the United States,” Reid said Thursday. “The United States, he says, is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”
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Millions of Americans dutifully trudge to the local Post Office each year to mail their tax returns to Federal, State and local governments.
And there’s good reason. Failing to pay your taxes can result in expensive penalties, if you’re lucky, or armed Federal agents breaking down your door to take their share of your pie.
But those who fail to pay their taxes in full might be doing the American economy a favor. And their numbers are growing.
The so-called “shadow economy” in the United States accounts for as much as $2 trillion in economic activity, according to Edgar Feige, a professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
That’s larger than the GDP of Canada and India.
Feige says more people are participating in the shadow economy than at any time since World War II, when strict price-controls and rationing drove many people to the underground economy for goods and services.
In an interview in July 2013, Feige said there are a variety of reasons the underground economy is booming – but it mostly has to do with tax policy.
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Do you think that the price of food is high now? Just wait. If current trends continue, many of the most common food items that Americans buy will cost more than twice as much by the end of this decade. Global demand for food continues to rise steadily as crippling droughts ravage key agricultural regions all over the planet. You see, it isn’t just the multi-year California drought that is affecting food prices. Down in Brazil (one of the leading exporters of food in the world), the drought has gotten so bad that 142 cities were rationing water at one point earlier this year. And outbreaks of disease are also having a significant impact on our food supply. A devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the U.S. before has already killed up to 6 million pigs. Even if nothing else bad happens (and that is a very questionable assumption to make), our food prices are going to be moving aggressively upward for the foreseeable future. But what if something does happen? In recent years, global food reserves have dipped to extremely low levels, and a single major global event (war, pandemic, terror attack, planetary natural disaster, etc.) could create an unprecedented global food crisis very rapidly.
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Among Republican Party name brands with possible aspirations to seek the 2016 Presidential nomination, so far only Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee have made known their opinions on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s standoff with the Bureau of Land Management.
All the others are keeping their lips zipped. Coming down in favor of Bundy, who is shrugging off the rule of law to take a principled stand against Federal transgressions, is a sketchy gray area of ideology for would-be candidates who want to appeal to a broad base. And coming down in favor of the government would simply destroy any rapport the GOP candidates have with their base.
So it’s been prudent, so far — even if not very courageous — for most candidates to simply say nothing.
According to The Hill, which attempted to question a trio of potential GOP candidates on why they’ve chosen to stay away from the Bundy-BLM battle, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have offered no statements indicating a position, and they didn’t respond to calls from Hill staff seeking comment.
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The struggling U.S. Postal Service is actively looking for new ways to increase revenue, including mining Americans’ personal information for data to sell to marketers.
At PostalVision 2020, a conference focused on reimagining the Postal Service’s role as Americans increasingly favor electronic communication, USPS chief marketing and sales officer Nagisa Manabe said that the agency is seeking to broaden its services.
According to Manabe, the Postal Service is considering forming partnerships with retailers and tech companies in order to get into the business of delivering consumables like groceries.
“We are not that far from the point where the refrigerator will simply be able to reorder for you,” she said. “You will see us looking to collaborate with grocery chains across the country. We’d like to experiment with grocery delivery, so that’s one of the areas where we’re looking in earnest.”
The official also discussed the Postal Service’s desire to follow the examples of tech giants like Facebook and Google and track Americans’ habits and preferences to build data sets that it would sell to advertisers and retails.
Facebook and Google glean information from users’ profiles, email inboxes and search queries. The Postal Service would presumably collect data sets from the parcels it delivers.
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The right against self-incrimination comes from the 5th amendment and it is as follows:
… [No] person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…
The right is more broadly applicable than it may seem on its face. Clearly, the right provides protection for a person to refuse to take the witness stand during a trial in which he is the defendant. However, this right also protects a person’s right to refuse to answer questions posed by government agents at any time, except in very limited circumstances (e.g. you should provide your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information to a police officer upon request if you’ve been pulled over in your vehicle).
This right makes sense, doesn’t it? Why should we, a free people, have to speak to our government agents unless we want to? We are not necessarily beholden to our government. Rather, the government is an institution put in place by, and beholden to, us. My point here is not that we should be rude or obstinate — only that we must recognize that each of us has the right to communicate with the government on our terms or, if we so decide, not at all. One can be respectful to our government agents, as we would be to any other human being; but being respectful does not require impotent compliance with their requests for information.
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There are only so many ways to call President Barack Obama a liar (and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and all the other Obamacare apologists) and describe the evil nature of his signature wealth redistribution and deathcare scheme: Obamacare. The English language, or at least my grasp of it, is wholly inadequate for the task.
It’s become so bad that writing just this short piece on more Obamacare lies was an arduous task that took far longer than it should. Every lede I began sounded trite and clichéd because every one has been written before.
Gullible Democrats and Obamaphiles bought the lie — and in many cases continue to buy the lie — that Obamacare was about insuring the uninsured. If you still ride that bandwagon and what I’m about to tell you doesn’t knock you off it, there is little hope anything will.
According to numbers touted by Obamcare advocates in the run-up to the law’s unConstitutional passage in early 2010 (laws raising revenue must originate in the House and Obamcare — which is a tax, according to the Supreme Court — originated in the Senate), somewhere between 32 million to 47 million Americans were uninsured. That’s not to say they were uninsurable. They were just uninsured.
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Hello, I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. I live in Las Vegas. I live and breathe Nevada politics. Something is very wrong. Something smells rotten in the Nevada desert. And Senator Harry Reid’s fingerprints are all over it.
I am, of course, referring to the Bundy ranch siege. This was a dispute between a Nevada ranching family with rights to the land in question for 140 years and the Bureau of Land Management. The government claims they haven’t paid grazing fees for 20 years. The result was a government assault on the ranch, including snipers with assault rifles, SUVs, helicopters, airplanes and more than 200 heavily armed troops. No matter whether you come down on the side of the government or the ranch family, I think all of us can agree this was excessive force.
But forget all that. I believe the more important question is: Why is this case so important to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Reid, and what was his involvement in this controversial assault?
Let’s start with Reid’s obsession with the case. Just on Monday evening he weighed in again, promising, “This isn’t over.”
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Early this month, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that the Department of Justice is considering gun control reforms that would require firearms to be equipped with technology to identify authorized users via biometric technology such as fingerprint recognition. This week, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he’s concerned that the DOJ is doing the legwork ahead of an executive order mandating the technology.
“I think that one of the things that we learned when we were trying to get passed those common sense reforms last year, Vice President Biden and I had a meeting with a group of technology people and talked about how guns can be made more safe by making them either through finger print identification, the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear, how guns can be used only by the person who is lawfully in possession of the weapon,” Holder said during his testimony.
In a letter to Holder this week, Cornyn said he wants more information about the Justice Department’s reason for looking into the technology.
“Your testimony has raised serious concerns for my constituents given President Obama’s track-record of acting beyond the scope of his legal authority and your hostility to the individual right to self-defense under the Second Amendment,” Cornyn wrote.
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Almost as quickly as she announced her departure from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the rollout wizard for Obamacare, Kathleen Sebelius found herself courting overtures from Democrats to consider a run at a U.S. Senate seat.
While reports Wednesday suggested Sebelius had demonstrated initial reluctance at the idea of entering the Senate race, the chorus of Democratic Party voices welcoming the idea may ultimately persuade her to enter the primary field, according to The Hill.
“It seems crazy to Republicans, who see Sebelius as the face of the botched Obamacare rollout and believe her candidacy would make it even easier for them to win the Senate majority,” wrote Alexander Bolton. “But Democrats say her candidacy would make Kansas more winnable, would blunt the problems Obamacare poses to their party and would force Republicans to pour money into a red state.”
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Nicolas Aquino, a Carmel, Calif. resident and Air Force captain who’s been featured in promotional material for the military because of his sterling reputation as a voluntarily enlisted airman, found himself in an unfortunate situation last December: a neighbor mistook him for a burglar as he entered his own home late one night and called the police.
Of course, when the police got to Aquino’s house, there was no burglar there – only Aquino. But, to Aquino’s bewilderment, that made no difference to the officer who showed up to investigate.
“All he said was, ‘I need to see your ID.’ At that moment I’m like, ‘Excuse me sir, but who are you? And why are you here?” Aquino told KSBW.
“He says it again, I have to produce identification. At that moment I asked him, ‘Am I being detained?’ He said, ‘Yes,’ and so I said, ‘OK, then my name is Nicolas Aquino. I live right here. I’m in the military,’” Aquino said.
Aquino eventually pulled out his wallet to show his military identification card but didn’t hand it over.
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) doubled down on his criticism of rancher Cliven Bundy Thursday, labeling the rancher’s supporters as “domestic terrorists.”
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid accused Americans who defended Bundy against the Bureau of Land Management of being terrorists because they protested the Federal government’s actions while armed. The Senator also charged that some families put their children in harm’s way to protect the rancher.
“They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said. “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”
Reid, who recently said that the Federal government is not finished with Bundy, went on to suggest that the rancher is a criminal for failing to acknowledge the Federal government’s demands that he pay $1 million in overdue grazing fees.
“Clive Bundy does not recognize the United States,” Reid said. “The United States, he says, is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority.”
The standoff between Bundy supporters and the Feds ended over the weekend when his confiscated cattle were returned— but officials continue in efforts to enact the government’s will over the rancher.
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Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million? In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system. And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs? When it comes to the transfer of wealth, nobody does it on a grander scale than the U.S. government. Most of what the government does involves taking money from some people and giving it to other people. In fact, at this point that is the primary function of the federal government.
Just check out the chart below. It comes from the Heritage Foundation, and it shows that 69 percent of all federal money is spent either on entitlements or on welfare programs…
So when people tell you that the main reason why we are being taxed into oblivion is so that we can “build roads” and provide “public services”, they are lying to you. The main reason why the government taxes you so much is so that they can take your money and give it to someone else.
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Michael Bloomberg, whose continued corporeal existence now represents his last remaining obstacle to entering into Heaven, has launched a fresh gun control campaign featuring a tragic scenario that, according to the television spot, happens “all the time” throughout America.
The ad, a vehicle for a new gun control group Bloomberg founded called Everytown for Gun Safety, plays out like an extremely well-produced piece of psychological torture porn, with a dramatic escalation of a normal game of hide-and-seek into a theatrical, slow-motion countdown to the moment when one of the two young children pulls the trigger on a pistol she found while hiding in the closet.
Bloomberg launched Everytown for Gun Safety as the new gun control umbrella for two other groups whose names you likely know: Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. He’s in the process of launching a new “grass roots” initiative to woo mainstream Americans to take up his “common sense” version of gun control by spending $50 million of his own money.
Grass roots indeed.
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This article, written by activist Nadia Kayyali and attorney Kurt Opsahl, was originally published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on April 16.
While most courts in the United States are adversarial—each party presents its side and a jury, or occasionally a judge, makes a decision—in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), only the government presents its case to a judge. While typically two opposing sides work under public review to make sure all the facts are brought to light, in the FISC the system relies on a heightened duty of candor for the government. As is illustrated all too well by recent developments in our First Unitarian v. NSA case, this one-sided court system is fundamentally unfair.
In March, after we learned that the government intended to destroy records of Section 215 bulk collection relevant to our NSA cases, we filed for a temporary restraining order in the Federal court in San Francisco. We also filed a motion to correct the record with the FISC, since it was a FISC order requiring the destruction of bulk metadata after five years that was at issue.
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Did you know that Family Dollar is closing 370 stores? When I learned of this, I was quite stunned. I knew that retailers that serve the middle class were really struggling right now, but I had no idea that things had gotten so bad for low end stores like Family Dollar. In the post-2008 era, dollar stores had generally been one of the few bright spots in the retail industry. As millions of Americans fell out of the middle class, they were looking to stretch their family budgets as far as possible, and dollar stores helped them do that. It would be great if we could say that the reason why Family Dollar is doing so poorly is because average Americans have more money now and have resumed shopping at retailers that target the middle class, but that is not happening. Rather, as you will see later in this article, things just continue to get even worse for Americans at the low end of the income scale.
I was also surprised to learn that Coldwater Creek is closing all of their stores…
Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. on Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after failing to find a buyer said it plans to close its stores by early summer.
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Mr. David Krone
Chief of Staff
To Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Listen, buddy, we need to talk about your boss. I know he pays your salary, and I know he exempted you from Obamacare; but this is getting out of hand. I’m not sure if Senator Reid is off his meds or if twilight is falling on the old man a little faster than anticipated, but you need to start thinking about life post-Harry.
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- He accused then-Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney of cheating on his taxes, but he never produced more substantial evidence than hearsay; and even the hearsay itself was denied by the reputed source, John Huntsman Sr., who has denied making the accusation.
- He detonated the so-called Senatorial “nuclear option,” thereby terminating decades of Senate filibuster tradition, not to mention making a liar out of himself.
- He called the victims of Obamacare’s fraudulent machinations liars and paid stooges of the “Koch Brothers,” even as Obamacare revealed itself to be the largest financial fraud in human history. When his mendacity was exposed, he actually claimed he hadn’t made the statements — even though the comments are still readily available for viewing even now.
There’s government electronic surveillance, and then there’s government online stalking. In its mission to ensure the government gets every last dollar it can from people, the Internal Revenue Service is now resorting to the latter.
In one of those public radio stories that sounds like superficial fluff until you listen to the words, public radio’s “Marketplace” ran a story this week discussing how the IRS appears to take advantage of the confluence of Big Data and old-fashioned snooping on social media to determine whether private residents’ tax filings jibe with what they tell the online world about their earning and spending habits.
Because of budget cuts, the IRS will have fewer auditing agents than at any time since the 1980s.
Enter robots. After all, the IRS may not have a whole lot of money or manpower, but it has a gold mine of data on you. A lot of it from… well… you.
…Those fancy vacation photos you posted on Instagram? The Facebook status update about your new car? The tweets about your wildly successful side business?
All fair game for the IRS.
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