House Bill Would Criminalize Satire of TSA

Kurt Nimmo
October 14, 2011

On September 22, 2011, H.R. 3011 was introduced in the House. It is entitled the “Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act of 2011” and it contains some curious language.

Two thirds of the way through the ponderous bill, in Sec. 295, we find the following:

Whoever, except with the written permission of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Security (or the Director of the Federal Air Marshal Service for issues involving the Federal Air Marshal Service), knowingly uses the words ‘Transportation Security Administration’, ‘United States Transportation Security Administration’, ‘Federal Air Marshal Service’, ‘United States Federal Air Marshal Service’, ‘Federal Air Marshals’, the initials ‘T.S.A.’, ‘F.A.M.S.’, ‘F.A.M.’, or any colorable imitation of such words or initials, or the likeness of a Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service badge, logo, or insignia on any item of apparel, in connection with any advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, software, or other publication, or with any play, motion picture, broadcast, telecast, or other production, in a matter that is reasonably calculated to convey the impression that the wearer of the item of apparel is acting pursuant to the legal authority of the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service, or to convey the impression that such advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, software, or other publication, or such play, motion picture, broadcast, telecast, or other production, is approved, endorsed, or authorized by the Transportation Security Administration or Federal Air Marshal Service .(Emphasis added.)

In other words, if you print a t-shirt or produce a publication with a TSA logo, the government may soon be able to arrest and prosecute you.

The language states that it would be illegal to “convey the impression” that you are representing the TSA, but this interpretation would likely be left to federal prosecutors.

In the past, satire was protected under the First Amendment, but it may soon be illegal to poke fun at the TSA or use its logo or even utter its name. Notice there is no exception in the above language for parody.

Political satire is as old as the Greeks and the Bible. But it may now become a punishable crime if this legislation is enacted.

The TSA and the Justice Department are obviously serious about making sure we don’t criticize their Gestapo operation. Since they began irradiating citizens with naked body scanners and shoving their hands down the pants of old ladies and grade school kids, public outrage has reached a crescendo.

By phoebe53 Posted in TSA

Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan Would Double the Sales Tax in Some States

If I’m going to be paying double in sales tax then I won’t be buying so how is that going to spur the economy? 

Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan Would Double the Sales Tax for Residents of Some States, Study Finds


Published October 14, 2011

Herman Cain has made the his 9-9-9 plan the cornerstone of his economic policy pitch on the campaign trail, saying he would wipe out all federal taxes and start over with a simple mix of income, business and sales taxes, all at 9 percent.

But under such a plan, sales taxes wouldn’t necessarily be as low as 9 percent. People in most states would pay more, when state and local sales taxes are included, and in some cases, customers could even end up paying twice as much in sales tax, according to a new analysis by the Tax Foundation.

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The study, which was done at the request of, found that the combined sales tax in all but four states would rise to at least doubt digits. The analysis doesn’t address whether the average taxpayer would pay more or less in taxes overall under Cain’s plan, but it suggests some shoppers could suffer sticker shock from the federal sales tax.

In Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon — the only four states that do not collect sales taxes at the state or local level – residents would only have to pay the 9 percent national sales tax. In Alaska, where there’s only local sales taxes, at an average of 1.1 percent, the combined rate would add up to 10.1 percent.

The five states that would have the highest combined sales tax rates would be Tennessee at 18.4 percent, Arizona and California at 18 percent and Louisiana and Washington state at 17.6 percent.

Among the other key states, the sales tax rates would be 17.5 percent in New York, 15.9 percent in Florida and 15.8 percent in Iowa. The nation’s capital would have a combined rate of 15 percent.

The Tax Foundation’s study is based on the assumption that Cain’s sales tax would be applied in the same way as the other sales taxes in each state and jurisdiction.

“But that certainly won’t be the case. That would be considered unfair,” William McBride, an economist at the Tax Foundation, said, noting that states vary greatly in how they collect their sales taxes.

Cain has not released all the details on his plan yet, making it impossible for a comprehensive analysis. But his plan would scrap the current tax system for a 9 percent tax rate on income, businesses and sales that would apply to all purchases. In turn, there would be no more payroll tax, no more estate tax and potentially no more IRS.

It’s hard to tell how this new tax code would benefit or hurt taxpayers in the long run. But without more specifics, the Tax Foundation’s analysis seems to confirm what some critics have been saying about the plan, which has helped propel the former pizza chain executive to the top of the GOP presidential field: the 9-9-9 plan amounts to a double or even triple whammy of taxation when local and state sales taxes are included.

“When I hear 9-9-9, I want to call 9-1-1 because it will raise the taxes,” said Anita Perry, wife of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whom recent polls show Cain has supplanted in the top tier.

Grover Norquist, president of the influential Americans for Tax Reform, has also criticized the plan.

“If you have with the income tax one needle in your arm drawing out blood, why would you take three needles, stick ’em in on the promise that they’ll only take as much as they used to take?” he told Fox News. “I think the danger is they drain you three times as fast.”

Cain’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment for this story. But Cain has vigorously defended the plan as it has come under fierce attack from his rivals.

“It is not regressive and to the people who say it’s regressive on the poor, I simply say do the math,” he told Fox News on Friday. “Most of the criticism of 9-9-9 are unfounded and untrue but they won’t give you their proof as to why they’re saying these things.”

“Here’s the other thing they hate most about 9-9-9:  the people get it!”

The plan has its supporters. Art Laffer, former Reagan economist told Fox News on Thursday that 9-9-9 is a “wonderful plan” and a “great first step.”

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., known as the party’s financial wizard, told the Daily Caller that he “loves” Cain’s plan, saying, “We need more bold ideas like this because it is specific and credible.”

Hey, Protesters: What About Solyndra?


Published October 14, 2011

The one thing about the Occupy Wall Street crowd that resonates with many Americans is their opposition to bank bailouts. The idea of using our tax money to bail out millionaires is nuts.

But that’s exactly what’s happening with Solyndra. Some of the $535 million that taxpayers just lost with Solyndra is about to be used to pay off the investment of billionaire George Kaiser and other investors. These millionaires and billionaires made risky investments on Solyndra, and they lost. When rich investors make risky bets and lose, they should have to eat their losses. They certainly shouldn’t get paid back by taxpayers. But these friends of Obama are about to be. That’s not only unethical, it’s illegal.

It’s in direct violation of the 2005 energy law, which clearly states that taxpayer loans get paid back before private loans on these projects. Otherwise, taxpayer money will be siphoned into the pockets of the rich guys. But someone in the Obama administration made a deal with rich Obama fundraisers to go around the law.

If the Wall Street protesters are really mad about taxpayers subsidizing millionaires and billionaires, than they should bring the house down on the Obama administration for subsidizing a risky investment made by a billionaire friend of the president. But so far we haven’t heard a peep from the protesters about it.

Time to speak up and shout out, or shut up and go home.

BLM Proposes to ban target practicing in the open West

Gun Groups Decry ‘Unacceptable’ Proposal to Ban Target Shooting on Western Parkland


Published October 14, 2011

Gun enthusiasts are rallying opposition to a string of new federal proposals that could close off hundreds of thousands of acres in the open West to target shooting.

The proposals from the Bureau of Land Management potentially would outlaw target shooting in swaths of public land in Arizona and Colorado as part of a broader conservation planning effort.

Federal officials said shooters are, under the proposals, being herded to different areas because of safety concerns and because — at least in Arizona — they’ve been leaving trash in public parks and damaging the environment with their bullets.

But the National Rifle Association calls the bureau’s response “unacceptable,” and gun groups say the government doesn’t need to go to such lengths to protect its open spaces.

The land “is owned by the public, and it should be available to the public,” said Ed Roberts, vice president of the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association.

The most sweeping proposals are in southern Arizona, where the bureau has proposed closing the nearly 490,000 acres in the Sonoran Desert National Monument to shooting. The agency has offered several different proposals, including the option of making no changes, but the manager of the land said the preferred option would shut out shooters from the monument.

“The monument’s not an appropriate place to have recreational target shooting,” said Richard Hanson, manager of the land.

The government would still allow hunting, and Hanson stressed that more than 900,000 acres of federal land outside the monument would remain open for target practice.

But Hanson said that in surveying the monument — which was designated in 2001 — officials found damage to rocks and cactus plants and other parts of the landscape near target-shooting sites, as well as tons of trash.

“The amount of trash was fairly astounding,” he said.

But Roberts said he doesn’t think sportsmen are responsible. He said he knows there’s trash at the shooting sites but doesn’t think the target shooters are the ones bringing it in.

“I can’t see a shooter bringing in a washing machine or a computer or bags of trash just to use as a target,” Roberts said. Besides, he said, there are existing laws that could be enforced to prevent more garbage in the monument.

“I don’t think that closing it … is the only solution,” Roberts said. His group has also expressed concern that the plan would close land to off-road vehicles.

The NRA, which estimated more than 60 target sites are currently used by target shooters in the monument, said the plan is “unacceptable.” Other alternatives would leave part of the monument open.

The NRA is urging shooters to attend upcoming public meetings to press for keeping as much land open as possible, in advance of a Nov. 25 deadline for public comment.

The federal government is proposing a range of similar plans for two other areas in Colorado — one in the northern part of the state and another to the west.

In those cases, the Bureau of Land Management is looking to potentially close off certain areas to target shooting mainly over safety concerns, the bureau’s Colorado spokesman David Boyd said.

He said the plans were last completed in 1984, and people are using the land much more than they used to — for camping, recreational vehicle use, walking their dogs and other things.

The plan for the Colorado River Valley area in the western part of the state covers 500,000 acres; the other plan, for Kremmling and other areas in the north, covers 378,000 acres.

Boyd said most of that would remain open to target shooters, but certain areas should be closed off. “It’s definitely a safety concern that we need to address,” he said.

In Colorado and elsewhere, shooters already have to follow certain rules, like keeping a safe distance from campgrounds and roads and other populated areas.

Federal officials stressed that the proposals are not final and urged concerned citizens to weigh in as the agency works on the plans into next year. The deadline for comment in Colorado is Dec. 16.

NRA spokeswoman Rachel Parsons expressed concern that bureau was not offering new sites for target shooters to make up for the ones that could be closed.

“We would prefer them not be closed,” she said. “We don’t want to see that happen.”

Cash Transactions Banned By Louisiana

Just another way for the govt to keep tabs on us, mandatory paper trail.  I say, good luck enforcing this law! 

By: Thad D. Ackel, Jr. Esq.

This summer, the State Legislature and Governor of Louisiana passed a law that bans individuals and businesses from transacting in cash if they are considered a “secondhand dealer”. House Bill 195 of the 2011 Regular Session (Act 389) broadly defines a secondhand dealer to include “… Anyone, other than a non-profit entity, who buys, sells, trades in or otherwise acquires or disposes of junk or used or secondhand property more frequently than once per month from any other person, other than a non-profit entity, shall be deemed as being in the business of a secondhand dealer. ” The law then states that “A secondhand dealer shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property. Payment shall be made in the form of check, electronic transfers, or money order issued to the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property…” The broad scope of this definition can essentially encompass everyone; from your local flea market vendors and buyers to a housewife purchasing goods on ebay or craigslist, to a group of guys trading baseball cards, they could all be considered secondhand dealers. Lawmakers in Louisiana have effectively banned its citizens from freely using United States legal tender.

The law goes further to require secondhand dealers to turn over a valuable business asset, namely, their business’ proprietary client information. For every transaction a secondhand dealer must obtain the seller’s personal information such as their name, address, driver’s license number and the license plate number of the vehicle in which the goods were delivered. They must also make a detailed description of the item(s) purchased and submit this with the personal identification information of every transaction to the local policing authorities through electronic daily reports. If a seller cannot or refuses to produce to the secondhand dealer any of the required forms of identification, the secondhand dealer is prohibited from completing the transaction.

This legislation amounts to a public taking of private property without due process or compensation. Regardless of whether or not the transaction information is connected with, or law enforcement is investigating a crime, individuals and businesses are forced to report routine business activity to the police. Can law enforcement not accomplish its goal of identifying potential thieves and locating stolen items in a far less intrusive manner? And of course, there are already laws that prohibit stealing, buying or selling stolen goods, laws that require businesses to account for transactions and laws that penalize individuals and businesses that transact in stolen property. Why does the Louisiana State Legislature need to enact more laws infringing on personal privacy, liberties and freedom?

Motivating the introduction of this legislation was an increase in criminal activity, necessitating law enforcement to develop additional tools in tracking potential criminals. Thefts of copper and other precious metals have risen recently with higher commodity prices and mounting pressures from the economic downturn. The added restrictions under this recent legislation have come about under the pretense of cracking down on crime and helping the government take care of you, all at the cost of your individual privacy, economic, civil liberty and freedom.

Interestingly enough, although Pawnshops are still required to obtain clients personal information and transmit their client database information to law enforcement, they are exempt from the restriction of cash payments. A jeweler next door to a pawnshop cannot offer clients the same payment method offered by its competing pawnshop neighbor.

Act 389 passed by unanimous consent of the Louisiana House of Representatives and only mustered one nay vote (Senator Neil Riser) from the State Senate. The governor signed the legislation into law on July 1, 2011.…-by-louisiana/

Obama Sends 100 US Troops to Uganda

Obama Sends 100 US Troops to Uganda to Help Combat Lord’s Resistance ArmyBy Jake Tapper  Oct 14, 2011 1:54pm

Two days ago President Obama authorized the deployment to Uganda of approximately 100 combat-equipped U.S. forces to help regional forces “remove from the battlefield” – meaning capture or kill – Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony and senior leaders of the LRA.

The forces will deploy beginning with a small group and grow over the next  month to 100. They will ultimately go to Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the permission of those countries.

The president made this announcement in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Friday afternoon, saying that “deploying these U.S. Armed Forces furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

He said that “although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”

The president said that for more than two decades the LRA has been responsible for having “murdered, raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women, and children in central Africa” and continues to “commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.”

The president in his letter noted that Congress passed “the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act,” signed into law on May 24, 2010, in which, the president said, “the Congress also expressed support for increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.”

When the president signed that letter in May 2010,  he said the bill “crystallizes the commitment of the United States to help bring an end to the brutality and destruction that have been a hallmark of the LRA across several countries for two decades, and to pursue a future of greater security and hope for the people of central Africa. The Lord’s Resistance Army preys on civilians – killing, raping, and mutilating the people of central Africa; stealing and brutalizing their children; and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.  Its leadership, indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival.  It fills its ranks of fighters with the young boys and girls it abducts.  By any measure, its actions are an affront to human dignity.”

Human Rights Watch has a great deal of information about the infamous LRA.

Update: A Defense Department official tells ABC’s Luis Martinez at the Pentagon that the U.S. troops will be in Africa “for a few months in an advisory role.”

By phoebe53 Posted in War

Appeals Court Suspends Parts of Alabama’s Immigration Law

Damn!! The law was working! Friggin’ govt!!

Published October 14, 2011

A federal appeals court on Friday suspended parts of Alabama’s tough immigration law while it considers the Justice Department’s request to strike it down.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled that Alabama cannot prosecute illegal immigrants for not carrying registration documents with them at all times or require schools to check the immigration status of all students.

But the court said Alabama, among other things, can require police officers to verify the immigration status of anyone they lawfully stop if they suspect they are in the country illegally. Illegal immigrants will also be prohibited from obtaining a license to drive, get a vehicle or open a business.

The Justice Department opposes Alabama’s law, claiming it invites discrimination against foreign-born citizens and legal immigrants and is at odds with federal policy. But state officials say the law is necessary to protect the jobs of legal residents.

A final decision on the law won’t be made for months to allow time for more arguments.

Alabama’s provisions allowing officials to check the immigration status of public school students and authorities to question people suspected of being in the country illegally are what help make the Alabama law stricter than similar laws passed in Arizona, Utah, Indiana and Georgia. Other federal judges have blocked all or parts of the laws in those states.

Since a federal judge upheld much of the Alabama law in late September, many frightened Hispanics have been driven away from the state, fearing they could be arrested or targeted by police. Construction workers, landscapers and field hands have stopped showing up for work, and large numbers of Hispanic students have been absent from public schools.

To cope with the labor shortage, Alabama agriculture commissioner John McMillan at one point suggested farmers should consider hiring inmates in the state’s work-release program.

It’s not clear exactly how many Hispanics have fled the state. Earlier this week, many skipped work to protest the law, shuttering or scaling back operations at chicken plants, Mexican restaurants and other businesses.

Immigration has become a contentious issue in Alabama over the last 10 years as the state’s Hispanic population grew by 145 percent to about 185,600. While the group still represents only about 4 percent of the population, some counties in north Alabama have large Spanish-speaking communities and schools where most of the students are Hispanic.

Occupy Wall Street Plans Mass Close-Out of Chase Bank Accounts

by on 10.12.11

This Saturday the Occupy Wall Street movement will engage in a day of action. A number of events are planned, but the highlight appears to be the Move Your Money action. The event will lead occupants, workers, families, students, and other concerned citizens in a march to Chase’s HQ on Wall Street with a mission: To move your money from a big, irresponsible bank like Chase to a local credit union or other account.

So why should the green-minded care? Because Chase continues to be one of the biggest bankrollers of coal, and the hideous practice of mountaintop removal mining.

It’s a rather perfect illustration of the sort of injustice that Occupy Wall Street is seeking to combat: The richest 1% using the 99%’s money to fund an environmentally-devastating practice they do not condone (the vast, vast majority of Americans want to see mountaintop removal mining end ASAP). It’s an example of how a few wealthy individuals use concentrated capital to influence society for their own gain — at the expense of a public that happens to like their mountains intact.

And most folks who bank with Chase have no idea that their money supports such a thing — few working class folks have the time to check into JP Morgan Chase’s investment portfolio on a regular basis, after all.

Of course, there’s a simple action that can be taken to address this issue: Americans can close out their Chase bank accounts.

However, most other banks are connected with coal and mountaintop removal mining too: Even after the admirable campaign initiated by environmental activists, the major banks all claimed that they’d adopt anti-MTR policies. But a subsequent report showed that all they really did was move some figures around and stop supporting the highest-profile offender (Massey Energy, responsible for the West Virginia mine disaster). The banks still drive huge sums towards coal and MTR.

So in order to ensure that our money isn’t bankrolling coal (or any number of unknown, dubious activities), the best thing to do is to ditch the big banks altogether, and opt for a local credit union. This should hardly break anyone’s heart — I don’t know anyone who’s happy with major banks — especially Citi, Chase, or Bank of America. And with “innovations” like Bank of America’s $5 a month debit fee incoming, there’s about to be a lot more unhappiness brewing.

As one of the 99% who banks with Chase, I’ll be there on Saturday. And I’ll be closing out my account for good. Details here.