Saturday, December 20, 2014

WHY join the NRA?

NRA-ILA 2014 Year in Review       

2014 was a highly successful year for NRA in our fight to protect our Second Amendment rights. Although we didn’t win every battle, our opponents were unable to hold back a wave of pro-gun victories. Our members and supporters heeded the call to “Stand and Fight” with NRA, helping to elect pro-gun majorities at both the state and federal levels.

Here is a summary of the top stories brought to you in 2014 by the ILA Grassroots Alerts. We'll look to continue our successful trend in 2015, particularly in the U.S. Senate where we will work to push for pro-gun reform while simultaneously working to block any anti-gun initiatives from President Obama's administration.

NRA continued to support the legal challenge against New York's recent gun control law, commonly known as the SAFE Act. The suit was brought by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, among others. When a state’s legislature oversteps its bounds, NRA demonstrates it can be counted on to file, or support, litigation to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected.

Detroit police chief, James Craig, voiced his public support for allowing law-abiding citizens to obtain concealed carry permits. Previously serving as police chief in Portland, Maine, after working nearly 30 years in the LAPD, Craig changed his views on the issue of Right-to-Carry after seeing how effective CCW permits were in reducing crime in Maine. Chief Craig understood that the best way he could ensure that citizens were protected was allowing them to protect themselves if need be.

Colorado-based Magpul Industries, a manufacturer of popular AR-15 ammunition magazines and accessories, announced that it would move its corporate headquarters to Texas and its manufacturing operations to Wyoming due to recently-passed anti-gun legislation. The company's decision, affecting over 200 employees and 400 supply-chain workers in Colorado, is expected to cost the state over $80 million annually.

President Obama's State of the Union address contained some disturbing gun control rhetoric, with the President pledging he would continue to promote his anti-gun agenda "with or without Congress." Frustrated by the legislative defeats his anti-gun bills suffered in Congress in 2013, the President was left with only angry rhetoric and threats to continue flouting the Constitution to force his anti-gun agenda upon the American people, further demonstrating why we must be ever-vigilant.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3590--the "Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act." This measure passed with broad bipartisan support by a vote of 268 to 154. The SHARE Act promotes and protects the rights of hunters in a variety of critical ways.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to carry firearms for self-defense in public. The landmark decision came in the NRA-supported case of Peruta v. San Diego County, brought on behalf of the CRPA Foundation and five individuals who were denied carry licenses by the San Diego Sheriff. In its ruling, this federal court struck a major blow against “may issue” carry laws that frequently lead to law-abiding citizens having their rights arbitrarily restricted or denied.

The fight over President Obama’s Surgeon General Nominee, Vivek Murthy, began in the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Murthy had a favorable 13-9 vote in that committee, prompting a strong response from NRA-ILA. Murthy's record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raised significant concerns about the likelihood he would use the office of Surgeon General to further an anti-gun agenda. NRA-ILA, with the aid of our members contacting their Senators, was able to block the impending nomination at that time.

NRA files a Friend of the Court Brief in the appeal of NSA spying case. NRA supported this case out of concern that bulk data collection could undermine privacy protections in federal law that prohibit creating a registry of firearms or firearm owners. Additionally, the NRA filing argued that the mass data collection violates the First Amendment-protected freedom of association,as it may make individuals fearful of joining organizations like the NRA and speaking their minds on controversial issues. Citizens should not have to fear being watched for exercising their Constitutionally-guaranteed rights in a lawful manner.

The FBI arrested anti-gun California Senator Leland Yee on firearm trafficking charges. Senator Yee asked for campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover FBI agent to an arms trafficker who trafficked in bullet resistant vests, handguns, semi-automatic rifles, shoulder-fired rockets and mines, as well as possibly being tied to money laundering and murder-for-hire plots. Senator Yee also happened to be A+ rated by the Brady Campaign for his anti-gun advocacy.


U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.), sponsor of the federal "assault weapon" and "large" magazine "ban" of 1994-2004, asked President Barack Obama to direct the BATFE to reinterpret a provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968 to prohibit the importation of various semi-automatic firearms and their parts. Thanks to the efforts of NRA, and of our members who contacted their Senators in droves, NRA was able to block this extreme measure.

Anti-gun former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledges $50 million for the gun control cause and consolidates his anti-gun groups Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) and Moms Demand Action under a single organization--Everytown for Gun Safety--with the stated goal to “outmuscle the National Rifle Association.”

While Bloomberg struggled to mount an ineffectual grassroots campaign, more than 75,000 members and 600 vendors flocked to NRA’s 143rd Annual Meeting, all of them attending on their own dime. The contrast further affirmed that NRA supporters do not need a $50 million dollar sugar-daddy to rally and support their cause.


NRA continued its support for the "Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013" (H.R. 2959)--introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives. This legislation recognizes the right of those who hold a permit to carry a firearm in their home state to carry concealed firearms nationwide, subject to the laws governing manner and places of carry while in a particular state. Similar legislation passed the House in 2011 by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 272-154. Federal Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation continues to be a top priority of NRA as a federally protected Constitutional right should not end at a state border.

U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a staff report, The Department of Justice's "Operation Choke Point": Illegally Choking Off Legitimate Businesses? The U.S. Department of Justice, under anti-gun Attorney General Eric Holder, claimed the operation was aimed at combating mass-market consumer fraud by shutting down access to the banking and payment systems that are necessary for fraudulent businesses to operate. The report, however, concluded that the true goal of the operation is to "choke out" certain industries-- including legal businesses that sell firearms and ammunition-- which the current administration considers politically objectionable.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee approved the FY15 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. The bill moved to the floor of the U.S. House where it was passed by a vote of 321-87. The bill contained a number of pro-gun provisions including: banning gun walking operations; preventing the Obama administration from using taxpayer dollars to implement the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty; and preventing the Obama administration from requiring registration records on the sale of more than one rifle or shotgun to law-abiding individuals in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.


Michael Bloomberg’s gun control operatives from Everytown for Gun Safety tried to mislead legislators and the general public with a list of firearm-related incidents in a report titled, “School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook.” This factually inaccurate report listed, “at least 74” such incidents occurring since Sandy Hook. However, the list included incidents most reasonable Americans wouldn’t consider “school shootings” in the traditional sense, including: crimes (some involving gangs) that happened to take place on or near school grounds; incidents where no one was injured; suicides; accidental discharges; self-defense uses of force; and even an off-campus crime spree that ended with police shooting the perpetrator after he ran onto the grounds of a college. Most of the cases bore little or no resemblance to the Sandy Hook incident that the anti-gun Everytown group tried to invoke.

President Obama once again shared his desire for Australian-style gun control while participating in a Q&A session involving social media website Tumblr. Australia’s severe gun control law, the National Firearms Agreement (NFA), includes many provisions that would be blatant violations of the Second Amendment.

Mark Glaze, the executive director of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), resigned. Shortly after he resigned, he admitted that none of Bloomberg’s gun control offerings would stop mass shootings. While Glaze characterized this as a “messaging” problem, the policy objectives of Bloomberg go far beyond issues with messaging. They would violate constitutionally-protected rights, if adopted, and are recognized by ordinary Americans as too extreme.


New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie (R) vetoed legislation that would have banned the possession of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. Such magazines are most commonly used in handguns and general-purpose semi-automatic rifles kept for defensive purposes. New Jersey law is already strict enough, and the current restrictions have done nothing to reduce violent crime in New Jersey.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for public corruption. The charges stemmed from actions Nagin took during his time as mayor of New Orleans. Nagin was infamous for ordering the unconstitutional confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms during Hurricane Katrina. The City of New Orleans later agreed to settle a lawsuit initiated by NRA and a permanent injunction was issued against the city, and then-Mayor Ray Nagin.

The City of Chicago was again ordered by the court to pay NRA’s legal fees, this time $940,000, for work on Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers v. City of Chicago (formerly Benson v. City of Chicago). That case challenged the prohibition on lawful gun sales within the city. The order brought Chicago’s recent total for NRA legal fees to over >.5 million.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld Florida’s Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act. This law was passed after a series of events in which patients were harassed or denied access to services because they refused to be questioned by their doctors about their ownership of firearms.

Beretta USA announced that it would be moving its Maryland operation to Tennessee. Beretta joined fellow firearm and firearm parts manufacturers, such as Remington, Kahr Arms, PTR Industries, Sturm, Ruger & Company, and Magpul Industries, all of which have either left states hostile to gun owners, or which have chosen to expand their operations in more gun-friendly areas. Beretta’s move could cost the so-called “Free State” millions in investment and 160 jobs.


United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Palmer v. District of Columbia, which challenged D.C.’s ban on carrying firearms in public for self-defense. The court’s decision struck down D.C.’s blanket prohibition on the right to carry outside one’s home.

Superior Court Judge Michael Donio declined to dismiss a case for unlawful possession of a firearm against Philadelphia mother Shaneen Allen or to disturb the prosecution’s refusal to allow her to attend a diversion program to which she had already been accepted by the program’s director. Ms. Allen was arrested during a traffic stop after she volunteered to the officer that she had a firearm in her car. A concealed carry permitee with no criminal record, she mistakenly thought her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit was recognized by New Jersey. Ms. Allen’s difficult road over the next few months to avoid a mandatory prison sentence illustrated the need for federal Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation.

Missouri’s primary election included a legislatively referred Constitutional Amendment to strengthen Missouri’s right to arms provision. Voters approved the amendment by a 61% to 39% margin.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg failed in his attempt to oust Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke from office. Bloomberg poured money and support into the campaign of Sheriff Clarke’s anti-gun challenger. Clarke, a strong supporter of the right of people to Keep and Bear Arms, was easily re-elected and confidently proclaimed, “I trust the voters. The voters can’t be bought.”

United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an opinion holding that California’s 10-day waiting period for nearly all firearm sales violates the Second Amendment as applied to persons who either own a firearm already or have certain firearm-related licenses or certificates. The opinion, written by Judge Anthony W. Ishii, generally found California’s justifications for the waiting period insufficient to overcome the burden the waiting period placed on Californians’ right to keep and bear arms.


U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) aggressively tried to reverse the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision (which invalidated unconstitutional restrictions on the ability to speak freely at election time of grassroots groups like NRA and others) by pushing “Senate Joint Resolution 19." This was a proposed "Amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections." S.J.R. 19 would have authorized burdensome federal and state regulation -- or outright prohibition -- of spending by corporations and other legal entities (like NRA) to do what many were created to do: protect the rights of their members at the ballot box. NRA and the activism of our members again blocked this anti-gun ploy to narrow the scope of the First Amendment.

NRA supported the USA FREEDOM Act of 2014 as a positive step toward protecting the privacy of innocent Americans and ensuring that surveillance activities are properly and narrowly focused on actual threats to the nation’s security.

In a major reversal by the Atlantic County Prosecutor, Pennsylvania mother and concealed carry permit holder Shaneen Allen was admitted to the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program, ending a nightmarish, months-long miscarriage of justice. Allen was only given this opportunity to avoid conviction after the acting New Jersey attorney general issued an opinion clarifying the application of New Jersey’s mandatory sentencing scheme to certain minor firearm violations. That opinion, in turn, followed revelations that the same County Prosecutor who initially denied Allen’s request for PTI granted such an opportunity to Baltimore Raven Ray Rice after he knocked out his then-fiancée on video in a highly publicized incident.

Multiple groups and media outlets damaged their own credibility and provoked countless disbelieving face palms by attempting to tie the NRA to the Ebola crisis. They groups absurdly claimed that NRA’s well-founded opposition to Obama’s nomination of anti-gun activist Vivek Murthy as Surgeon General exacerbated the Ebola outbreak, as Americans supposedly had nowhere else to turn for reliable information on the outbreak. Little airtime was given to the NRA’s legitimate concerns with the nominee or to any evidence that Murthy himself had a singular ability to effectively handle the nation’s Ebola response. Such outlandish assertions offer yet another example of gun control supporters use sensationalism to advance their anti-gun and anti-NRA agenda, no matter how ridiculous and desperate it reveals them to be.

Eric Holder's legacy of mismanagement, incompetence, and the politicization of federal law enforcement continued, as Judicial Watch, through a public records lawsuit against the City of Phoenix, uncovered more victims of the botched Operation Fast and Furious. An AK-47-type rifle involved in Operation Fast and Furious was used in a gang-style shooting in the city that left two people injured with multiple gunshot wounds. More victims may be discovered as evidence suppressed by Eric Holder and the Justice Department continues to come to light.

A coalition of congressional representatives issued letters requesting internal investigators at the Department of Justice and FDIC to examine Operation Choke Point and any officials and staff involved in the program. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), characterized Operation Choke Point as “a DOJ-initiated effort that aims to force businesses, many of which are licensed and legally-operating, out of the financial service space and therefore, out of business.” Operation Choke Point's targets include firearm and ammunition manufacturers and retailers.


On November 3rd, one day before the midterm elections, the U.S. Department of Justice released over 64,000 pages of materials pertaining to the infamous Operation Fast and Furious. Some, including former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who helped break the Fast and Furious story, have suggested that the timing of the document dump was calculated to ensure the release of the documents would not receive adequate press coverage due to the midterm elections. This document dump did not escape NRA’s or other watchdog groups’ notice, however.

NRA-PVF achieved historic election victories, while anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg was proven to be a political liability. The elections on November 4th proved to be a pro-gun tidal wave, with NRA having its best election night in over a decade. Of the 251 races we were involved in, we won 229, which translates into a 91% success rate. NRA-PVF endorsed candidates won hard-fought victories in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Iowa, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. And because of our members’ support and activism, NRA was pivotal in re-electing pro-gun governors in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin, and in ousting a Bloomberg-backed anti-gun governor in Maryland. In addition, we had great success in races for the U.S. House.

Mississippi voters exhibited a firm commitment to preserving their strong sporting traditions by ratifying NRA-supported Amendment 1. Eighty-eight percent of voters cast their ballots in favor of Amendment 1, which establishes an individual constitutional right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.

In conjunction with the release of its annual crime report for 2013, the FBI announced that all categories of violent and property crime declined from 2012 to 2013. From 2012 to 2013, the nation’s murder rate decreased five percent, to at least a 57-year low. The 2013 rate was down 56 percent from the all-time high recorded in 1980, and down 54 percent since 1991, when total violent crime hit an all-time high.


Americans’ support for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms has sharply increased, and support for restricting gun ownership has sharply decreased, over the last two years, according to the results of a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The poll found that 57 percent of Americans believe that gun ownership does more to protect people from crime, while only 38 percent believe guns do more to put people at risk. Viewed in conjunction with Pew’s previous polls on the same topic, the percentage of Americans who believe that gun ownership protects people from crime has risen by nine points during the last two years, a period during which President Obama, Michael Bloomberg and other gun control supporters have campaigned relentlessly for restrictions on firearms and the Second Amendment. By comparison, the percentage believing gun ownership puts people at risk has risen only one percent.

NRA will be closed on Thursday, December 25th, Friday, December 26th, and Thursday, January 1st. Because of this abbreviated schedule, the next Grassroots Alert will be transmitted on January 9th.

Have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


2 Americas


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The Democrats are right: there are two Americas. The America that works and the America that doesn’t. The America that contributes and the America that doesn’t. It’s not the haves and the have nots, it’s the dos and the don’ts. Some people do their duty as Americans, obey the law, support themselves, and contribute to society. Others don’t. That’s the divide in America.

It’s not about income inequality, it’s about civic irresponsibility. It’s about a political party that preaches hatred, greed, and victimization in order to win elective office. It’s about a political party that loves power more than it loves its country.

This is not invective, it's the truth, and it’s about time someone said it.

The politics of envy was on proud display a couple weeks ago when President Obama pledged the rest of his term to fighting “income inequality.” He noted that some people make more than other people, and that some people have higher incomes than others, and he says that’s not just. This is the rationale of thievery.

The other guy has it, you want it, Obama will take it for you. Vote Democrat. That is the philosophy that produced Detroit.

It is the electoral philosophy that is destroying America. It conceals a fundamental deviation from American values and common sense because it ends up not benefiting the people who support it, instead betraying them.

The Democrats have not empowered their followers; they have enslaved them in a culture of dependence and entitlement, of victim-hood and anger instead of ability and hope. The president’s premise – that you reduce income inequality by debasing the successful – seeks to deny the successful the consequences of their choices and spare the unsuccessful the consequences of their choices, because, by and large, income variations in society are a result of different choices leading to different consequences.

Those who choose wisely and responsibly have a far greater likelihood of success, while those who choose foolishly and irresponsibly have a far greater likelihood of failure.

Success and failure usually manifest themselves in personal and family income. You choose to drop out of high school or to skip college – and you are apt to have a different outcome than someone who gets a diploma and pushes on with purposeful education.

You have your children out of wedlock and life is apt to take one course; you have them within a marriage and life is apt to take another course. Most often in life our destination is determined by the course we take.

My doctor, for example, makes far more than I do. There is significant income inequality between us. Our lives have had an inequality of outcome, but our lives also have had an inequality of effort. While my doctor went to college and then devoted his young adulthood to medical school and residency, I got a job in a restaurant. He made a choice, I made a choice, and our choices led us to different outcomes. His outcome pays a lot better than mine. Does that mean he cheated and Barack Obama needs to take away his wealth? No, it means we are both free men in a free society where free choices lead to different outcomes.

It is not inequality Barack Obama intends to take away; it is freedom, the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. There is no true option for success if there is no true option for failure. The pursuit of happiness means a whole lot less when you face the punitive hand of government if your pursuit brings you more happiness than the other guy.  Even if the other guy sat on his arse and did nothing. Even if the other guy made a lifetime’s worth of asinine and short sighted decisions.

Barack Obama and the Democrats preach equality of outcome as a right, while completely ignoring inequality of effort.

The simple Law of the Harvest – as ye sow, so shall ye reap – is sometimes applied as, “The harder you work, the more you get.”
Obama would turn that upside down. Those who achieve are to be punished as enemies of society and those who fail are to be rewarded as wards of society. Entitlement will replace effort as the key to upward mobility in American society if Barack Obama gets his way. He seeks a lowest common denominator society in which the government besieges the successful and productive to foster equality through mediocrity. He and his party speak of two Americas, and their grip on power is based on using the votes of one to sap the productivity of the other. Again, America is not divided by the differences in our outcomes; it is divided by the differences in our efforts.

It is a false philosophy to say one man’s success comes about unavoidably as the result of another man’s victimization.

What Obama offered was not a solution, but separatism. He fomented division and strife, pitting one set of Americans against another for his own political benefit. That’s what socialists offer. Marxist class warfare wrapped up with a bow. Two Americas, coming closer each day to proving the truth of Lincoln’s maxim that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
[Leo “Lou” Holtz (born January 6, 1937) is a retired American football coach, and an active sportscaster, author, and motivational speaker.]

Smarter Government WA

SGW Weekly Round-Up
I love stories of people who see a problem or opportunity and don’t wait for somebody else to step up and do something. They just roll up their sleeves and find a way to contribute.

That’s why I was taken by the story of Leon Delong. He saw an opportunity - downtown office buildings were disposing of toilet paper rolls with plenty of paper left on them - and found his own way to help people in need. For 15 years, Delong drove around downtown collecting these rolls to donate to Northwest Harvest’s food bank.
Leon Delong saw a need and decided he was the guy to do something about it. That’s the kind of community spirit we can all learn from this Christmas season.

-Rob McKenna

On SGW this week
Tax tanker shipments and oil-by-rail the same
For years Washington’s refineries have paid a tax on oil shipments that arrive by tanker, with funds going toward safety and preparedness. Now the industry wants the tax extended to oil-by-rail shipments. We should give them the opportunity.

Gov’s transportation plan isn’t honest about who will pay

Gov. Inslee rolled out a transportation proposal that uses a cap-and-trade tax instead of new gas taxes. He said, “It’s better to tax polluters than drivers,” but it’s disingenuous to suggest that motorists won’t pay this tax. They will, just indirectly.

More devices, more chances to skirt public records disclosure

The public’s business creates public records, even when officials use personal accounts and devices to conduct it. While court cases have added clarity, the Legislature needs to address grey areas in the law so rules and expectations are clear for everyone.

This week's interesting links
  1. Seattle Times: ‘Buck up,’ Inslee says, as he makes his case for new taxes
  2. Olympian: Inslee’s budget plan adds roughly $1.5 billion for state-paid worker, teacher compensation
  3. Bob Pishue: State Treasurer’s Office has concerns over Governor’s transportation proposal
  4. Associated Press: EPA to step in on fish consumption water rules
  5. Seattle Times: State health exchange to turn over payment system to insurance carriers
  6. Graham & Dunn: Executive orders and carbon emissions: Can Governor Inslee establish a low carbon fuel standard without legislation?
  7. Olympian: Public officials’ texts are public records
  8. Seattle Times: Lawmakers jab Supreme Court: bill would make races partisan
  9. Richard Davis: Governor’s proposed capital gains tax: Considering possible negative consequences
  10. Longview Daily News: Sides 'far apart' in West Coast port negotiations

© 2014 Smarter Government Washington | Facebook | Twitter

Freedom Update

Dear Larry, This week on The Freedom Update Clark County is trending more Conservative in 2014, the Washington State Legislature is spending more than ever, and Brain Minnich joins the Freedom Foundation staff as Executive Vice President.

For more information, go to
Stay Informed,
David Bramblett, Creative Director
Freedom Foundation
P.S. For those of you who wish to see the full stories featured on our website, you can go here:
1. Clark County Trends Conservative
2. Hey, Big Spender
3. Brian Minnich Executive Vice President
Read The Freedom Update - Episode 51


Freedom Force

Freedom Force
December 20, 2014
Today's Feature
College Students Sign Petition to Deport Americans in Exchange for Illegal Aliens! George Washington University must be producing some bright graduates – but you’re not going to be seeing any of them here. The great folks at Campus Reform were on the scene asking these bright young leaders of the future to
More stories For more updates visit

Tips from Grandma

Dear Survivalists,
I remember sitting on my grandmother's lap as a young boy. I remember her hearty laugh, and warm smile.
The good experiences we have with our grandparents stay with us forever.
I always used to walk with her in the forest as she told me how to identify edible food in the wild.
She passed on valuable pieces of advice I still hold in my heart today.
And it's information like that that has been lost to most people... who are completely dependent on the grocery store for all their supply needs...(Not smart.)
It's for that reason that I created these Wild Edibles Playing Cards.
Each playing card holds a piece of my grandparent's wisdom, teaching you how to find, identify, and prepare nutrient-rich food, in the wild (even if that wild is your own back yard).
And, for a very limited time, I want you in on these timeless secrets ¦ for FREE.
These easy-to-access cards will give you the information on how to identify 52 Life-Saving Wild Edibles that you can find practically anywhere, all year round!
Reading these cards is just like getting wonderful nuggets of wisdom from loving grandparents.
These decks are flying off the shelves, and your chance to pick them up for FREE ends on Monday. If they even last that long....
Remember, we're all in this together!
'Above Average' Joe
P.S. If my grandmother were alive, I know she'd be proud of me. Her most important piece of advice was to act quickly.
So act now before it's too late!
Above average Joe
Remember:  We're all in this together.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Illegal Immigration

Shortly after Pres. Obama announced his executive actions on immigration, a group of 18 states filed suit against the Administration claiming that they would be negatively affected by the actions. The states claim that they'll be on the hook for providing public services and beefing up law enforcement, among other things, as a result of the actions. Since the initial suit was filed, 6 more states have signed on -- that means that nearly half the states in the country are suing Pres. Obama over amnesty.
And earlier this week, news broke that a judge in western Pennsylvania ruled that the President's amnesty is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the ruling will have no impact on Obama's actions because the constitutionality of the executive actions was not contested in the case; instead, the case involved an illegal alien facing deportation, and the judge asked the attorneys to prepare briefs arguing whether or not the defendant would be eligible for deferred action under the President's plan. The judge based his decision on those briefs.
Ironically, stories like the one from Pennsylvania could actually make full implementation of Pres. Obama's executive actions more likely. When the new Congress starts session on Jan. 6, both chambers will be controlled by the Republican Party. But GOP Leaders have shown little interest in stopping Obama's amnesty. They had an opportunity during last week's spending battle, but decided not to pursue defunding the amnesty. Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) even took it a step further by voting against Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) constitutional point of order objection while publicly ridiculing his tactics.
These lawsuits -- the Pennsylvania decision, the 24 states, and any other future court challenges -- only serve to distract the attention of the American people away from Congress and on the courts. Still, the best option to stop Pres. Obama's executive amnesty is for Congress to exercise its power of the purse and defund the actions. We will be coming to you early in the new year with ways you can help make this happen.
Earlier this week, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) came under fire from her constituents at a Town Hall meeting. Voters were angry with her vote on the CRomnibus bill that fully funds Pres. Obama's amnesty.
As reported by the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal:
Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins told a Lawrence audience Tuesday that immigration reform will be the No. 1 priority for Republicans when the next Congress convenes in January....

But many of the roughly 80 people who attended said they didn't want to wait that long and said they were frustrated that Jenkins voted to provide any funding to the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"They don't need to be funded, they don't deserve to be funded. Illegal aliens are exactly that," said Renee Slinkard, who said she lives near Kansas City, Kan. "You're giving them Social Security. You're giving them applications to where they can get work permits that take away the jobs. You're giving them all of these subsidies that we have to put out with our hard-earned money."
Earlier in the week, our Local Activism Manager, Melanie Oubre, had sent an alert to our Kansas activists alerting them of the Town Hall meeting. This is exactly the sort of pressure we need to be placing on our elected officials while they're home in their districts.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ben Carson Reports from Israel.


Dear Larry,

My first trip to Israel will soon come to a close. It’s been a fascinating experience that I will never forget.

Through my conversations with military and government officials, as well as touring the tunnels through which terrorists have traveled to attack Israel, I’ve been reminded of the high cost of freedom, and standing up for one’s values.

In a region where democratic ideals are sorely lacking, Israel has been a beacon of hope, freedom and prosperity because generations of courageous Israelis have fought to keep it that way.

In light of the ongoing cyber-attacks in Hollywood, this is a lesson America must heed.

We live in a dangerous world, and we can only defeat bullies by standing up to them.

We should never cower or censor ourselves because of the threats of third-world dictators and cyber-terrorists.

Freedom of speech and freedom of expression mean something, and we should stand up for them.

Israel is prosperous and free in part because Israel has had the moral courage to be strong. As we face our own threats in America, we must show the same resolve.

Thank you for your ongoing support as together we work to build a stronger and more prosperous America for all of our citizens.


Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D.

Donate by Mail Donate Online

Top 10

Top 10 Lies in Obama’s Cuba Speech

AP Photo/Doug Mills

President Barack Obama unveiled a new U.S. policy toward Cuba on Wednesday as part of a deal that brought American Alan Gross home in exchange for three convicted Cuban spies. As he has done so often in the past, Obama tried to channel the perspective of America’s enemies and critics, as if his job were to act as a neutral mediator instead of defending U.S. interests and values. In the course of his address, Obama told American ten major lies, both of omission and commission.

Here they are, in order of appearance:
1. No mention of the Cuban missile crisis. “I was born in 1961 just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba….Over the next several decades, the relationship between our countries played out against the backdrop of the Cold War and America’s steadfast opposition to communism.” Cuba’s role in helping the Soviet Union project a direct threat to the U.S. mainland is carefully elided (though Obama, as he has done before, refers to his own birth as a kind of watershed.)
2. Suggesting that the president can establish a U.S. embassy on his own. “Going forward, the United States will reestablish an embassy in Havana and high ranking officials will visit Cuba.” An embassy needs to be funded by Congress, and needs an ambassador to be approved by the Senate. None of that is going to happen–nor should it, especially after the disastrous experiment in re-establishing an embassy in Syria, which Obama did in 2009, to no good effect whatsoever.
3. No mention of Cuba’s role in repressing democracy abroad. “Cuba has sent hundreds of healthcare workers to Africa to fight Ebola.” Yes, and Cuba has also sent experts in repression to Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. Cuban agents also allegedly beat and raped Venezuelan protestors earlier this year. For decades, Cuba assisted guerrilla armies abroad, fomenting bloody revolution in some countries and propping up communist regimes elsewhere. It continues to do so.
4. Suggesting that Cuba does not support terrorism. “At a time when we are focused on threats from al Qaeda to ISIL, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces the use of terrorism should not face this sanction.” Yet Cuba was caught, only last year, smuggling “missile equipment” to North Korea, the dictatorship that targeted America with a cyber-terror attack on the day Obama announced the new Cuba policy. Cuba continues to offer other kinds of support to terrorists.
5. False claim that the U.S. is to blame for lack of information in Cuba. “I believe in the free flow of information. Unfortunately, our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe.” This is perhaps the most offensive lie of all, since Gross was detained for trying to help Cubans access technology. The reason Cubans lack news and communication is because the regime censors them brutally, not because of the U.S. embargo.
6. False promise to consult Congress on Cuba, when his administration broke that promise. “As these changes unfold, I look forward to engaging Congress in an honest and serious debate about lifting the embargo.” And yet when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked White House official Tony Blinken whether the administration planned any major Cuba policy changes, Blinken (now Deputy Secretary of State) lied and said any change would come in consultation with Congress.
7. False claim that Cuba agreed to release political prisoners as part of a deal with the U.S. “In addition to the return of Alan Gross and the release of our intelligence agent, we welcome Cuba’s decision to release a substantial number of prisoners whose cases were directly raised with the Cuban government by my team.” As the Washington Post noted, these political prisoners were already set to be released as the result of negotiations four years ago with the Vatican and Spain.
8. False commitment to principle of changing policies that do not work. “I do not believe we can keep doing the same thing for over five decades and expect a different result.” If that were really what Obama believed, we would not see the administration pursuing policies whose failure is already evident as a matter of historical record: high taxes, economic redistribution, socialized medicine, union-dominated schools, restrictive labor and environmental regulations, and so on.
9. Conflating the collapse of the Castro regime with the collapse of Cuba. “Moreover, it does not serve America’s interests or the Cuban people to try to push Cuba towards collapse.” A false “binary choice.” By failing to differentiate between the regime and the country, Obama signaled his intention to allow the Castros and their heirs to entrench their power–abandoning the cause of freedom and reform, just as he did with the mullahs in Iran during the 2009 uprising.
10. Falsely identifying the U.S. as a colonial power. “Others have seen us as a form of colonizer intent on controlling your future..…Let us leave behind the legacy of both colonization and communism, the tyranny of drug cartels, dictators and sham election.” America actually liberated Cuba from Spanish colonialism, and though the U.S. influenced the island heavily for decades afterward, Obama’s attempted moral equivalence between “colonization” and communist tyranny is a false one.

Obama borrowed a quote from the Cuban literary giant José Martí: “liberty is the right of every man to be honest.” Yet as my colleague Frances Martel has pointed out, Obama shortened that quote, leaving out the phrase ” and to think and to speak without hypocrisy.” Obama’s speech was both dishonest and hypocritical. It was an ominous introduction to a new policy that might have deserved a chance, were it not based on such evident disregard for American interests and Cuban freedom.
For more on the dishonesty of Obama’s speech, see Martel’s “Line by Line: Every Empty Promise in Obama’s Cuba Speech.”
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.