Statism

United Liberty’s Top 10 Stories from 2009

It’s the last day of 2009. We made it through a crazy year that saw liberty put at risk on an all to regular basis. We decided the best way to recap the year was to take ten of 2009’s biggest stories and write a blurb about each one of them (we tried to keep it short and to the point).

Before you continue on, each of us here at UL want to thank you for a great 2009. We appreciate you reading. We’re planning for world domination in 2010 and hope that you’ll join in the fun.

So, here they are in no particular order, United Liberty’s Top 10 Stories from 2009.

Tea Party Movement (Brett Bittner): The wave of “hope” and “change” that swept Barack Obama into the Presidency of the United States closed out 2008 and opened the door to a new movement in American politics, the Tea Party movement.  I believe that his election was merely a catalyst for many groups of a conservative nature and strong views on limited government to unite to form one voice to stand up to the political status quo, calling out Democrats and Republicans alike for their affinity to grow the size of government to a breaking point.

A Renewed Energy For Activism

Racist, Nazi, greedy bastard, angry mob, AstroTurf, brown-shirt, unpatriotic, goon, heathen, liar, rich, skinhead, moron, gun nut, ignorant fool, manipulator. Those are sixteen words and phrases used to describe me, used by the media, in person, on the phone, and on the Internet in response to my opposition to ObamaCare. I think that I should note that these are the ones I can publish due to the tameness of language. Of the sixteen, I find only two to be accurate: angry mob and skinhead (only because I cut my hair REALLY short). Friends and acquaintances who have seen or heard these suggest that I collect them as trophies for my efforts. Needless to say, I have a thick skin when it comes to name-calling, mostly because I know what it really means. It means only one thing: I. Am. Winning.

My Townhall Experience

After attending several Atlanta area health care town hall forums sponsored by legislators in support of HR 3200, I decided to participate in one hosted by MY Congressman, Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA, 11th). I should note that I did not vote for or against Dr. Gingrey in 2008, as I lived in Georgia’s 13th Congressional District then. The convenience of the location of August 31st’s event could not have been better, unless it took place in my living room (the Cobb Civic Center is across the street from my neighborhood), however a 5:30 PM start time made it difficult for many constituents to attend.

Town Hall Atendee

I arrived at the Civic Center shortly after 5 PM to find a parking lot approximately half-full, some cars present as early as 3:30 PM. Outside the venue, there were a few individuals and groups handing literature to those entering, including members of GOP gubernatorial candidate, John Oxendine’s You Can Stop ObamaCare. I expected police-enforced restrictions that I encountered at previous town hall events, so my only tool to capture and share media of the event was my cell phone.

Once inside, I noted many of Rep. Gingrey’s older constituents in attendance, as I expected from reports of his previous forums on the subject. I also expected that most in attendance would be opposed to the health care reform bill known as HR 3200, also known as “ObamaCare,” like their Congressman, Rep. Gingrey. There were a handful of

Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Start Worrying and Hate the Thigh Gap

Urban Outfitters

In an article seemingly straight from Stanley Kurbick’s Dr. Strangelove, Mic.com celebrated the state censorship of one of Urban Outfitters’ photographs. Never mind nuclear weapons, rogue states, or “The Interview” — we have a more-pressing worry: underwear advertisements.

As the Cold War ended, we ceased to fear the missile gap, the bomber gap, the doomsday gap, and even the mineshaft gap. Today we fear the “Thigh Gap” — the distance between a model’s thighs. Fortunately, the United Kingdom, a stalwart Cold Warrior, has defended even the most sensitive and fragile among us from the perils of an Urban Outfitters underwear ad.

Sparked by the complaint of an anonymous do-gooder, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority ordered Urban Outfitters to remove the photo above, concluding that it was irresponsible. Contesting the ruling, Urban Outiftters explained that the model was healthy and represented by one of the UK’s most successful agencies, and provided her agency profile and other photographs, all to no avail. The ASA considered, “the model was very thin, and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model’s thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width.” The Thigh Gap cometh.

Mike Huckabee’s cultural reactionarism isn’t the solution for America, liberty is

Mike Huckabee has joined a group called World Congress of Families (are they Workers too?) in opposing “sexual radicals” who previously opposed their upcoming conference in Australia. Unclear if the group also opposes long-haired hippie music, flowers, and Woodstock.

The letter signed by Huckabee and dozens of other theocrats and social reactionaries, including former Texas Congressman and terrible dancer Tom DeLay, claims to support the “international pro-family movement”. They of course specifically define the “natural family” as “a man and women united by faith and tradition, raising their children in a loving environment.” They don’t say if the combination of singular “man” and plural “women” is an intentional endorsement of polygamy or an unintentional one, nor if non-religious or childless couples count as families. They would probably grudgingly admit they are, as long as the genders were of the approved variety.

The end of the letter illuminates the real problem with Huckabee & Co’s worldview (and subsequent politics):

Kill The Ex-Im Bank: Let Free Markets Work

If Congress kills the Export-Import Bank it would be a massive win for those who love free markets. Both Jason Pye and Alice Salles have pointed out how the bank is a massive cronyism scheme, which doesn’t really help anyone except a select few. Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan made an excellent comment on the bank saying, “Republicans should be pro-market, not necessary pro-business.” This is something more people need to realize. Liking the free market doesn’t mean liking massive corporations, unless their products or services are great.

That isn’t stopping President Barack Obama from demanding Ex-Im be reauthorized. He said last week Americans would lose jobs if the bank wasn’t kept alive. Obama even made a comparison to owning a Ford dealership which doesn’t offer financing, while a Toyota dealership across the street does.

Funny or Die Accidentally Proves Why Big Federal Government Programs Suck While Making the Case for a Minimum Wage Hike

Kristen Bell Mary Poppins

A recent Funny or Die video accidentally proves what conservatives and libertarians have been saying about what the government does with paychecks.

The video, featuring Kristen Bell playing Mary Poppins, has a line which says it’s tough to live above the poverty line when the government takes out federal and state income tax, plus Social Security and Medicare. But instead of complaining about how much gets removed from paychecks, the video suggests raising the minimum wage is the only way to go.

This is ridiculous logic. Employees get 6.2% of their paychecks taken out for Social Security. This is money which never gets returned because it goes to pay for others who are already on Social Security. There’s also 1.45% taken out for Medicare. These are things Americans can’t opt out of and keep their own money.

To put it in real numbers. If someone works 40 hours a week at $7.25 the base pay should be $290. Instead, about $22 is taken out of the paycheck. That amounts to $1,144 per year which could have stayed in.

Then there’s federal income taxes. Singles making between $9,075 and $36,900 have 15% of their paycheck taken away per year. That $2,262 per year.

Korn Takes on Obama, the NSA, and the MSM in New Music Video

Jonathan Davis

Full disclosure: This author is a fan of the metal genre in general and has been a Korn fan since their first self-titled album released in 1994 featuring their hit songs “Blind” and “Shoots and Ladders.”

Its nothing new or surprising that most entertainers, to the extent they weigh in on political issues at all, usually come down in favor of the Left. In the world of rock music (of all varieties including metal, punk, classical, 80’s hair bands, etc.), most acts promote anti-establishment or anarchistic themes.

But even these rebels, with or without a cause, all too often favor the Left or at the very least, save their harshest criticisms for the Right. Its easy to be critical of a politician and political party the MSM already hates (often assuming the public and the MSM have the same values). Being critical of President George W. Bush at the height of the unpopularity of the undeclared wars in  Iraq and Afghanistan, the USA PATRIOT Act, the signing statements, torture, Gitmo, takes very little courage. But being critical of a President Barack Obama, who the MSM loves, even as he continues and expands upon many of the same policies of Bush? To me that takes more courage*.

While these concerns may still be present among these artists, it seems that their criticism of these policies is much more muted since Obama became president. With the raising concerns about how President Obama has abused power, it seems that at least a few bands like Megadeth** and now Korn are telling the music world that it’s okay to attack Obama through their art.

Your Secrets Are Not Safe with the Government

government secrets

During a recent show, Chris Hayes, host of All In with Chris Hayes, made some very important points worthy of sharing here about government secrecy and the government’s inability to keep secrets:

As of the end of 2011, there were 1.4 million people with top secret security clearance […] just one of the 1.4 million people is on trial for leaking a heck of a lot of secrets. Bradley Manning is the 25-year-old soldier accused of turning over files to Wikileaks including reports from Afghanistan and air strikes to killed civilians. His trial got under way and he faces prison. He is viewed as a hero and others see him as a villain and a traitor. What he is is proof that the government cannot keep secrets. If 1.4 million people had access, that access is not a secret in any real way.

CPS Tyrannizes Again; Abolish Child Protective Services Now

Yet another incident of Child Protective Services violating civil rights has emerged, this time in Sacramento:

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old baby boy was taken from his parents following a visit to the doctor.

The young couple thought their problems were behind them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got home their problems got even worse.

It all began nearly two weeks ago, when Anna Nikolayev and her husband Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be treated for flu symptoms, but they didn’t like the care Sammy was getting.

The mother had questions about what was going on with the care, but it soon escalated out of control:

Anna said Sammy suffers from a heart murmur and had been seeing a doctor at Sutter for regular treatment since he was born. After Sammy was treated for flu symptoms last week, doctors at Sutter admitted him to the pediatric ICU to monitor his condition. After a few days, Anna said doctors began talking about heart surgery.

“If we got the one mistake after another, I don’t want to have my baby have surgery in the hospital where I don’t feel safe,” Anna said.

Anna argued with doctors about getting a second opinion. Without a proper discharge, she finally took Sammy out of the hospital to get a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente.

“The police showed up there. They saw that the baby was fine,” Anna said. “They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad stuff that they thought that this baby is dying on our arms.”


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